Pokemon Go Dev Responds to Update Criticisms
Niantic explains the controverial changes it has made to Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go developer Niantic Labs has responded to criticism of an update for the game that removed the 3-Step tracking feature and support for third-party Pokemon locating services.
In a post on the official Pokemon Go Facebook page, Niantic said the 3-Step display, which was designed to give players a vague indication of how close a specific Pokemon was, had to be removed "in order to improve the underlying design."
"The original feature, although enjoyed by many, was also confusing and did not meet our underlying product goals," it continued. "We will keep you posted as we strive to improve this feature."
The update also restricted access to the Pokemon Go API, which in turn meant third-party services such as PokeVision ceased to function. This proved to be incredibly controversial as they offered an easy way to track Pokemon in real-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," Niantic said.
Discussing its ongoing effort to launch the game in more territories, Niantic said it is "working crazy hours to keep the game running as we continue to launch globally."
"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)."
It added: "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."
Despite Niantic's efforts to crackdown on third-party Pokemon tracking services, a new one has already been released. SmartPoke 2 shows Pokemon overlaid on a map, how far away they are from you, and how long they'll be in that location. You can download it for Android phones and Android Wear watches here.
For more on the game, check out our roundup of all the crazy and unusual news about Pokemon Go here.