Pokemon GO’s tracking system is broken. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that this isn’t ideal for a game about hunting Pokemon.
The more industrious fans among us agreed, which is why they set up numerous services and apps that could help people track Pokemon – unfortunately developer Niantic shut them all down earlier in the week.
Niantic has yet to fix their own in-game tracking system, and despite a heartfelt open letter from one of the more popular tracking sites, the developer refuses to budge on the matter.
Obviously fans are angry, but Niantic has now come forward to explain why what it did is for the best.
Blocking the third parties who were accessing Niantic’s servers apparently freed up a great deal of resources, which helped the team to go ahead with the recent launch of Pokemon GO in Latin America.
The above graph shared by Niantic reveals the dramatic drop in server resources consumed after the third-party users were blocked.
Niantic explained on its blog:
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.
In addition to hampering our ability to bring Pokémon GO to new markets, dealing with this issue also has opportunity cost. Developers have to spend time controlling this problem vs. building new features.
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.
There is a range of motives here from blatant commercial ventures to enthusiastic fans but the negative impact on game resources is the same.
The post ends with Niantic reassuring fans that it will continue to ‘take steps to maintain the stability and integrity of the game’ and introduce new features.
Still no word on when they’re gonna fix their own damn tracking system though.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.