Niantic shuts down third party Pokémon GO map sites

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Pokémon GO hasn’t shown any signs of slowing since its launch a few weeks ago. Each time a new country rolls out, game servers take a beating as a huge influx of new players hop on trying to catch ’em all. If you’ve been in from the very beginning, you may remember a time when the “Nearby Pokémon” feature actually worked. Showing you, via a series of footprints, which Pokémon were nearby, the footprints would decrease as you got closer, helping players find and actually catch those pesky pocket monsters. To counteract the complete lack of in-game tracking, several fan-created sites popped up to help Pokémon GO players find their favorite monsters. A recent update to the game on Android and iOS broke these sites, sending players scrambling with very little in-game help on the matter.

In a recent interview with Forbes, Niantic CEO John Hanke expressed some displeasure at the existence of sites and apps such as PokéVision, PokéHound, and others, stating:

People are only hurting themselves because it takes some fun out of the game. People are hacking around trying to take data out of our system and that’s against our terms of service.

It’s easy to see why some may disagree with at least some of that statement. Players need only look to Ingress, the first Augmented Reality game from Niantic, where fan sites pulling data from the game have flourished in the past. Niantic themselves even provided an Intel map allowing players to track their portals, fields, etc. and have an idea of where to go for best results. Admittedly, the success of Ingress is part of what allowed Pokémon GO to flourish. Though unlike Ingress, there is a definite benefit of knowing where best to find specific Pokémon. Finding the strongest monsters will allow you to truly progress, attacking and capturing gyms.

If Niantic announced tomorrow that they were launching their own Pokémon equivalent of the Ingress Intel map, maybe that would dull some of the annoyances from players. But when the company removes their own tracking feature completely rather than attempting to fix it, that has to leave a sour taste in the mouths of some players. In the meantime, players are left to wander aimlessly, hoping that they might come across the occasional Pikachu, Snorlax, or of course, the very best Pokémon of them all, Psyduck.

Have you been playing Pokémon GO? Have you used any of the (now completely broken) mapping apps or sites? Will their removal impair your enjoyment of the game in any way? Tell us what you think in the comment section below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.

[button link=”” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Forbes[/button]

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