Between the flurry of complaints to the Better Business Bureau, Andrew Cuomo demanding that sex offenders not be allowed to use the app, a sharp drop in active users since the latest update, and a constant litany of jokes at their expense, Niantic Labs hasn’t had the best end of July.
Their deafening silence since the game’s tracking tool bugged out – and its subsequent removal – has spurred some not totally unfounded concerns that they were going to treat the Pokemon GO community the same way they treated the Ingress community. Or, in other words, one or two years to grudgingly address long-standing concerns and problems one at a time, and a total absence of communication outside of game events in the meantime.
Good news: that doesn’t seem to be the case. The official Pokemon GO Facebook account ended the company’s silence and acknowledged the ongoing issues affecting the game.
The promise to restore and improve the tracker is by far the biggest issue, and the one most hotly demanded by the community at large. The entire premise of Pokemon GO was that you would be able to search and hunt for Pokemon in the real-world, with the tracker explicitly encouraging you to explore the local area and take detours you’d normally ignore. Its breakdown and subsequent removal rendered Pokemon GO into, effectively, a random generator game. In the interim, sites like Pokevision were developed by independent programmers, allowing players to track the location of specific Pokemon without the guesswork – but were subsequently shut down by Niantic.
James 'Obscurica' Chen is Team Mystic 4 lyfe.