Niantic is starting to talk more, doing its best to address the wave of frustration surrounding the updates and bugs in its popular game, Pokémon GO. Any talking from the company is an improvement, and in what must be the longest blog post since the game’s release, CEO John Hanke explains a few of the controversial decisions.
On third-party trackers, he claims that they put too much strain on the servers and delayed the release of the game in other parts of the world.
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.”
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.
And the main reason many of these people turned to third-party trackers is because the one in the game has been ruined for quite some time. In that regard, Hanke continued to be brief.
We have heard feedback about the Nearby feature in the game and are actively working on it.
Another recent controversy is that the game has made it much more difficult for gamers to catch Pokémon, boosting escape rates and their ability to break free from a Pokéball. Many assumed this was a way for Niantic to squeeze more real-world money out of gamers to get them to buy more Pokéballs, but the official Twitter account claimed that this was yet another bug.
Trainers, a new bug affecting throw accuracy increases the odds of escape and omits the XP bonus. We are working on a fix, stay tuned…
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) August 4, 2016
In the meantime, I guess I’ll blame that bug for the Snorlax at my local train station this morning… the one that got away. Thanks a lot, bug!