Over the weekend, Niantic released a big Pokemon Go update for iPhone and Android that brings various new features and improvements to the game. However, the update also cripples your Pokemon Go experience because it removes a fundamental element of the game. Truth be told, the nearby tracker did not function properly before, and Niantic was aware of the glitch. But rather than fixing the issue, the company just removed it altogether. To make matter worse, Niantic also issued cease and desist letters to some third-party apps and services that showed Pokemon locations on a map, which was a handy unofficial feature that replaced the need for an in-game tracker.
Since then, Niantic explained why it ruined Pokemon Go for everybody. And the company is pointing the finger to an extent at those third-party “cheating” apps rather taking full responsibility for its own server problems.
The company took to Facebook to explain its decision to remove the three-step notification feature. Niantic also said that third-party services were “interfering with [the] ability to maintain quality of service” for its users, and bring Pokemon Go to users around the world.
However, that’s not to say that Pokemon Go servers were performing very well before this weekend’s update, or before third-party apps started offering map-based Pokemon data.
And this is how Niantic is phrasing claims that its servers can’t adequately handle the massive amount of interest Pokemon Go generated: “The large number of users has made the roll-out of Pokémon GO around the world an… interesting… challenge.”
Niantic’s full message, as posted on Facebook, follows below.
As many of you know, we recently made some changes to Pokémon GO.
– We have removed the ‘3-step’ display in order to improve upon the underlying design. The original feature, although enjoyed by many, was also confusing and did not meet our underlying product goals. We will keep you posted as we strive to improve this feature.
– 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. 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).
We have read your posts and emails and we hear the frustration from folks in places where we haven’t launched yet, and from those of you who miss these features. We want you to know that we have been working crazy hours to keep the game running as we continue to launch globally. 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.
Be safe, be nice to your fellow trainers, and keep on exploring.
The Pokémon GO team