So in their latest move of “not understanding their players” – second only to the brick wall that is their social media presence, Niantic have decided to take action against third party trackers. This mean that websites like Pokevision or apps like Pokewhere have been turned off, and probably permanently.
In an interview recently, Niantic CEO John Hanke spoke out about third party trackers. Saying he “didn’t like them”. Not even weeks later those kind of sites have been shut down. All whilst the in-game tracker remains in further state of broken. The latest update taking away the three steps altogether, causing players to just refer to it as “glitch”.
This is dumb. Niantic, you are being dumb. The only reason players have managed to keep playing this long is having some idea where Pokemon might be. You’ve taken this ability away, even despite not fixing your own or even responding to social media – waiting weeks until San Diego Comic Con to even acknowledge the glitch. Even then all you said was “We are aware of it”. Damn straight you’re aware of it, and so are we, the players and consumers of your game, and we don’t how you’re responding to and handling this massive game breaking error right now.
Allow me to make a suggestion of how better this situation could be resolved. Instead of closing off apps that merely succeed where you have failed, why not work with those developers? Wouldn’t it be better to have some kind of tracking than no tracking at all? Because from the perspective of one of your players, it absolutely would be.
In my head, this would work as a third party app, that is allowed into the API to fetch Pokemon location data. It would not display pin points of where they are, but a vague circle with the Pokemon inside that circle, heck you could even make it not display this at all. Instead it could just point an arrow on your screen towards where the Pokemon is, like a compass. Something is better than nothing and with Pokevision we had something. Your own tracker is nothing.
I appreciate you’re working to fix these issues, I do, but until they’re fixed you shouldn’t be closing down the only services out there actually visibly trying to help your players – and they’re doing it for free. So why not take advantage of this? Why not use their work to help support yours until you can fix your own? It just seems like a stupid move to make, that has got a lot of people in your community angry and unhappy. I can’t even tell you the amount of angry tweets I’ve read this morning, but it’s lots, like… really lots.
(ps I saw your job posting for “Global Community Manager” – I’ll totally take that job, hit me up.)