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Niantic Have Responded to Recent Criticism and Outlined Future Plans for ‘Pokemon GO’

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Yesterday, we published an article attempting to analyse the most recent update to Pokemon GO (Free) and the demise of third party tracking websites such as Pokevision. While there was a lot of constructive debate from both sides, the overwhelming consensus – and underlying thesis of the article – was that Niantic’s lack of presence online to address the questions and queries from fans was the biggest issue at hand. With their Twitter and Facebook pages largely being silent over recent developments, many hardcore trainers – many of whom had invested a significant amount of money into the application – were left in the dark. Thankfully, Niantic have finally responded to fans today through the official Pokemon GO Facebook page, and have attempted to alleviate some of the concerns over the removal of certain features, whilst outlining future plans for a complete worldwide rollout of the game.

On their Facebook page, Niantic have detailed how the ‘3-step’ tracking display was removed not just because it was not working, but also as they were not happy with the original system as it was not particularly easy for new players to use. Niantic stress that they are working ‘to improve upon the underlying design’, and will keep fans posted as the development of this feature takes place – which suggests they will be looking for fan involvement in what the new tracker will look like in the future. Furthermore, the developers have stated that third party services such as Pokevision were removed because they were ‘interfering with [Niantic’s] ability to maintain quality of service’, and even preventing them rolling out Pokemon GO around the world. This does make sense – you may be disappointed that you can no longer use Pokevision to track down that elusive Porygon, but spare a thought for our friends in Brazil and other countries who haven’t even been able to play Pokemon GO yet.

In the statement, there was no mention of whether the new and excessively difficult catching and fleeing mechanics would be addressed, even though Niantic did outline that they have read the ‘posts and emails’ that had been sent, and will be looking to improve their presence and communication after the fallout of the past few days. My impression from the Facebook post is that any issues right now are temporary, as the primary focus for the Pokemon GO team is to get the game out in every country possible, and make sure it is a stable experience one hundred percent of the time. If this means a few weeks without a decent tracker, or another update to address balancing issues, I’m willing to give Niantic the benefit of the doubt and wait patiently for them to make Pokemon GO the game they truly intended it to be. At the very least, this new policy of transparency and communication will do wonders for making the online community for the game a far more friendly place for new players to get involved with, which is great for a social game of this magnitude.

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