In their first blog post since the release of Pokemon GO on July 6, Niantic spoke up today about third party services and their reasoning behind shutting them down.
Beginning with a note on their optimistic inspiration, Niantic then moved into challenges facing development, specifically those related to third parties attempting to access Pokemon GO servers for various reasons. “Since there has been some public discussion about this,” the post reads, “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.”
Third parties scraping Pokemon GO’s servers for data, they explain, consume a large number of resources and cause developers to spend time handling those issues rather than working on new features. They cite these “aggressive efforts” as reason for the delay of the game’s recent release in Latin America. Whether malicious attacks or fan attempts to set up tracking services like Pokevision, Niantic says “the negative impact on game resources is the same.”
“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,” Niantic adds, “which negatively impact all Trainers.”
Niantic’s response comes after backlash over the shutdown of third party services, particularly from players that had used Pokevision’s mapping tools to find Pokemon while the game’s tracking system remains nonfunctional. In an open letter to Niantic, Pokevision’s creator said half of the game’s userbase had tried out the service.
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