Niantic Labs, the creator of Pokemon Go, drew criticism when they began shutting down third party services like PokeVision, but now the developer is has issued a statement explaining their decision.
Pokevision was a fan made resource that allowed players to go online and see what Pokemon were in their area. It was being used specifically because the app’s internal tracking system was broken. Recently, Pokevision was shut down at the request of Niantic, and the creator of that website penned an open letter to Niantic expressing his disappointment in them and saying that people were only using Pokevision out of a desire to fully experience Pokemon Go.
In a new address on their website, Niantic says that the reason they have shut down websites and apps like Pokevision is because they negatively impact the game’s servers. CEO John Hanke then provided the following chart showing the drop in server resources that took place after Niantic began dealing with websites like Pokevision (details are murky, though, considering the chart has no actual data on it).
Niantic added that some of these third party services have been used by people who are trying to cheat.
“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,” Niantic’s statement reads. “There is a range of motives here from blatant commercial ventures to enthusiastic fans but the negative impact on game resources is the same.”
Niantic also said that the only reason they were able to expand into Latin America recently is because they freed resources by shutting down Pokevision and similar websites.
Many had assumed that Niantic’s motivation for going after third party clients was simply that they did not want anyone experiencing the game in a way that they didn’t intend, but this new statement makes clear that the primary motivation seems to be an attempt to ease the stress on the severs.
Fans will also be excited to hear that in Niantic’s statement, CEO John Hanke says that they are “actively working on” fixing the nearby tracker.
After several weeks of anger in the Pokemon Go online communities, this update brought a lot of relief. Users had been begging for some sort of an update from Niantic, and they got it in the form of this statement, which ends by asking players to keep sending their feedback. Prior to this post, some had felt as if their feedback was not being valued by the game’s developer, but in the past week, Niantic has made much more of an effort to communicate with fans.
“This is exactly what they should have been doing since launch,” one Reddit user said in reaction to the statement. “Better late than never, I guess. They still haven’t addressed all the issues and concerns, but this is a great start.”