Pokemon Go developer CEO says sites like PokeVision "hurt" the game and team

The shutdown of unofficial, third-party Pokemon Go sites like PokeVision (which allowed players to pinpoint Pokemon locations) was a real bummer to any who utilized their service. But according to developer Niantic, it was a necessary decision to make. Company CEO John Hanke wrote in a blog post this week that third-party sites and apps were hurting both the quality of the game and the team's ability to work on it.

"Since there has been some public discussion about this, we wanted to shed some more light on why we did this and why these seemingly innocuous sites and apps actually hurt our ability to deliver the game to new and existing players," Hanke wrote, explaining that the recent launch in Latin America was delayed partially due to third-party sites.

He also shared a graph showing what appears to be a large drop in server pings per second after PokeVision was rendered inert. It's a vague graph with no numbers, so it's impossible to say how significant the drop actually is. Could be a lot, could be a little. But it did happen, and that's something to take note of.

"In addition to hampering our ability to bring Pokémon GO to new markets, dealing with this issue also has opportunity cost," Hanke continued. "Developers have to spend time controlling this problem vs. building new features. It’s worth noting that some of the tools used to access servers to scrape data have also served as platforms for bots and cheating which negatively impact all Trainers".

"There is a range of motives here from blatant commercial ventures to enthusiastic fans but the negative impact on game resources is the same". Sounds like PokeVision isn't coming back anytime soon, folks.

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Sam Prell

Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.