This past weekend, Niantic sent out a new update for their popular Pokémon GO app which removed most of the in-game Pokémon tracking features from the title. These features had been broken for a while, so many had already turned to websites to help them find the creatures they most wanted—but Niantic shut those down as well, using cease-and-desist orders to push many into closing their doors. Fans haven’t been pleased with this, with a number even going so far as to request refunds for their microtransaction purchases in the game, and today Niantic finally offered up an explanation for these move.
Here is the full statement they issued via the Pokémon GO Facebook page:
As many of you know, we recently made some changes to Pokémon GO.
– 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.
– 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. And we aren’t done yet! Yes, Brazil, we want to bring the game to you (and many other countries where it is not yet available).
We have read your posts and emails and we hear the frustration from folks in places where we haven’t launched yet, and from those of you who miss these features. We want you to know that we have been working crazy hours to keep the game running as we continue to launch globally. If you haven’t heard us Tweeting much it’s because we’ve been heads down working on the game. But we’ll do our best going forward to keep you posted on what’s going on.
Be safe, be nice to your fellow trainers, and keep on exploring.
The Pokémon GO team
The good news is that this basically confirms that the in-game tracking features are planned to return at some point, though an estimated time frame for the relaunch would have been nice. And it’s definitely nice to hear that the global rollout is continuing; hopefully Brazil will get their wish of receiving the game in time for the Olympics. The odd news is their reasoning behind shutting down those third-party websites that offered Pokémon tracking—they don’t really explain how such sites could have been “interfering” with their efforts, and it doesn’t seem to make intuitive sense, at least not to me. If you can explain it to us, feel free to leave us a comment down below!
What do you think of this statement? Is their reasoning solid, or are you wanting more details on the reasoning and efforts behind these decisions? How could Niantic be handling these situations better? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Source: Official Pokémon GO Facebook