Niantic Finally Communicates About Pokemon GO
Pokémon Go has been out a while now and it’s had plenty of ups and downs since release. We started with iffy server connections, which led to a faulty tracking system that left many trainers wondering “which way do I go?”, and now the most recent update has left trainers feeling like Niantic just isn’t listening to them.
Fortunately that’s not true, and in the past few days Niantic have been pretty good at communicating what they’re planning. The most recent patch that got rid of the 3-step bug (by completely getting rid of the tracking) also made it a lot more difficult to capture Pokémon and obtain that sweet curve ball bonus, resulting in trainers losing their minds as they spend 20 poke balls on low CP Pidgeys. Originally players felt like it was a deliberate attempt by Niantic to increase micro-transaction sales, however Niantic has been kind enough to not only acknowledge the bug but also let the community know they are working on fixing the problem.
In addition to a recently-active Twitter feed, Niantic have been updating players via the Pokemon Go blog, including letting people know what they’ve been up to and the recent troubles they’ve had with maintaining the service. One of their major posts, dated 4th August, covered the official Pokemon Go release in Latin America and touched on why they were blocking third-party tracking apps. The following is taken straight from the post:
As some of you may have noticed we recently rolled out Pokémon GO to Latin America including Brazil. We were very excited to finally be able to take this step. We were delayed in doing that due to aggressive efforts by third parties to access our servers outside of the Pokémon GO game client and our terms of service. We blocked some more of those attempts yesterday. 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. The chart below shows the drop in server resources consumed when we blocked scrapers. Freeing those resources allowed us to proceed with the Latin America launch.
They go on to explain how they’ve had less resources available because they’ve been hard at work stopping third parties from accessing the servers outside of the Pokemon Go game client (and the odd hacking attempt), which in turn took away from new features rolling out. As far as updates go this one is pretty big, and the entire post leaves you feeling optimistic about the future of Pokemon Go.
What do you think? Was the 3-step glitch really Niantic trying to sneakily tempt players into buying more poke balls, or was it simply a bug that hadn’t been worked out yet due to resource constraints and the company trying to roll the game out in new markets? Niantic has started communicating with its players a lot more now so maybe we’ll see some of the many ideas the community has come up with implemented into future updates.
Pokemon GO may have lost a bit of traction since its initial release but it still has a lot of active users (including myself) and will hopefully return to its former glory soon, but without all the server problems. In the meantime I still have a pokedex to complete.