Niantic, the company behind the wildly popular Pokemon Go mobile game, has come under criticism from players following an update to the game that has removed key features and blocked all third party tracking apps.
One of the main criticisms of the original version of the game was its “footprint” tracking system that displayed how many steps a user was from Pokemon in the area — sadly this mechanic was not as accurate as intended and displayed every single Pokemon at a maximum distance from the player. This resulted in many users utilising third party Pokemon tracking apps and websites such as the popular Pokevision tracking service.
These third party apps were essentially doing Niantic’s job better than they were. It seems that Niantic did not take kindly to this and as a result have completely removed their own inbuilt “footprint” tracking system and blocked all third party apps from utilising the Pokemon Go service. Niantic CEO John Hanke referred to these third party Pokemon tracking apps as “cheating” in an interview with Forbes.
It seems, however, that Niantic did not realise how strong the player reaction would be to the banning of these third party apps, with many users so upset over the decision that they’re demanding refunds. This seems to be a formal protest on the part of many players who feel that Niantic have failed in their customer support responsibilities and have ignored players’ wishes.
In a thread on the Pokemon Go subreddit detailing how to get refunds for the game with over 4,500 upvotes, one user wrote, “Normally I would be against this type of thing but if Niantic is not even going to acknowledge/address the problems with the game, then I say go for it. If they had said they’re aware of the issues and are working to do something to fix them, then I would say don’t do it, but the fact that they have just remained completely silent is ridiculous” summing up many players feelings on the situation quite well.”
Other users took to Twitter to express their disapproval.
— Nicholas Michel (@Jolly_OldStNick) July 31, 2016
— np (@optimistwenger) July 31, 2016
Lucas Nolan is a conservative who regularly contributes articles on censorship and free speech to Breitbart. Follow him on Twitter@LucasNolan_ or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org