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Pokemon Go dev warns trackers like PokeVision 'may not work in the future'

Don't get used to being able to track down Pokemon right from your browser window. Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke says you may not be able to use sites like PokeVision (opens in new tab) to find the elusive Pokemon Go (opens in new tab) monsters for long. He told Forbes (opens in new tab) that he's "not a fan" of the external services.

"We have priorities right now but [players] might find in the future that those things may not work," Hanke said. "People are only hurting themselves because it takes some fun out of the game. People are hacking around trying to take data out of our system and that’s against our terms of service."

Of course, folks aren't only "hurting" themselves - by breaking the Terms of Service to find Pokemon and get stronger in the game, they're getting a leg up over other players they could indirectly face in Gym battles: "[T]he team Gym aspect of it is something we think is important to the game long-term," Hanke added. "For that to work, that has to be free of a large amount of cheating and spoofing."

That's a pretty good argument against using bots to progress through the game (opens in new tab). But as long as the in-game Pokemon Tracker is busted (it's shown all Pokemon at maximum distance for weeks, effectively shutting down the warmer/colder exploration mechanic), it's nearly impossible to hunt for Pokemon without using PokeVision and the like. Hopefully Niantic recognizes that and doesn't shut down a useful tool for players without offering a better alternative.

As for using train sets and other means of automated locomotion to hatch eggs (opens in new tab), Hanke thinks that's "kind of cheating" too. "But it’s kind of creative and funny too so I don’t really mind it."

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I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.