Pokémon GO has become the game of the summer. Everyone’s playing it, from first time gamers, to seasoned pros and of course, those who loved Pokémon the first time around. The trouble with such a popular game is that people inevitably start trying to develop ways to cheat the game, in order to enhance the playing experience. In the case of Pokémon GO, apps have been quickly developed to enable users to track Pokemon more easily; with apps such as Pokévison, which studies the game’s algorithm to work out where Pokémon will show up, and PokéRadar, which crowdsources information from players as they move about.
These apps became popular with many, but Niantic CEO John Hanke argued back, saying that such developments took the fun out of the game, with one of the main points being that it encourages users to get out and about to scour the area. Hanke also added that attempting to take data out of Niantic’s systems is against their terms of service. Now, it seems as though Niantic have decided to crack down on these apps once and for all, with Pokévision and other similar apps posting on their websites that their services were unavailable.
Pokévision also posted the following message on their Twitter account:
Hey guys. We wish we had some news for you— Pokevision (@PokeVisionGo) 31 July 2016
At this moment, we are respecting Niantic and Nintendo's wishes.
Will keep you guys posted
So it seems as though Niantic are cracking down, following on from Hanke’s point that these other companies were accessing their data and therefore breaching terms and conditions. To some extent, it’s easy enough to agree that map-based Pokémon apps do take a lot of the fun out of the game, but at the same time, Pokémon Go’s own location tool is very rudimentary, and therefore it’s easy to see why people have gone elsewhere. While the idea is that the number of footprints under any given creature in the ‘nearby’ menu is an indication to its closeness, the game often has a glitch that means that three footprints appear under all the creatures on that menu, regardless of distance. This, in turn, is very frustrating for users who need to keep the game open continuously for fear of missing out.
However, at the same time that Niantic have shut these apps down, they have also overhauled their own tracking system so that the ‘nearby’ feature now shows all Pokémon within a 70 meter area, listed in no particular order. Whether this development will permanently shut out mapping apps, remains to be seen. Cheat codes or hacks are par for the course in any game, and it’s hard to see that Niantic will be able to keep outside apps quiet for long when the game is still trying to deal with overcrowded servers and multiple glitches.
Pokémon Go is available now for both iOS and Android mobile devices.
Source: Twitter [via Comic Book]