Pokemon Go (opens in new tab) players, rejoice. Developer Niantic Labs has finally broken its silence on the state of the game. The company made a post to the official Pokemon Go Facebook page (opens in new tab) earlier today, which explains the removal of game features and the shutdown of third-party websites like PokeVision (opens in new tab).
"As many of you know, we recently made some changes to Pokémon GO," the post begins. "We have removed the ‘3-step’ display in order to improve upon the underlying design. The original feature, although enjoyed by many, was also confusing and did not meet our underlying product goals. We will keep you posted as we strive to improve this feature."
Niantic was a bit less clear when addressing unofficial sites like PokeVision, which let players see where Pokemon were at any given time. "We have limited access by third-party services which were interfering with our ability to maintain quality of service for our users and to bring Pokémon GO to users around the world. The large number of users has made the roll-out of Pokémon GO around the world an... interesting… challenge."
If I had to guess, I'd say that since PokeVision needed to ping Niantic's servers near constantly for accurate tracking, it could be that the site was simply too much of a strain for the game (or team) to function properly. Why the Facebook post would sum a relatively easy to understand concept like server strain as "interfering," I'm not sure.
It's vague wording and the comments make it clear that many still see the shutdown of PokeVision and its ilk as a vindictive move. But then, how many Facebook commenters actually read all of an article before posting, right? Niantic's post concludes by saying it plans to keep players updated more frequently going forward.
And here I was complaining just yesterday about how Niantic needed to up their level of communication with players (opens in new tab). I'm not gonna take credit for getting Niantic to come out and say something, of course. I'm just sayin' it's interesting timing is all. *puts on sunglasses*
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