After a turbulent end to Pokémon Go's first month in the wild, developer Niantic has addressed fan concerns following a major update that removed features and disabled third-party sites that allowed users to easily track Pokémon in the augmented-reality mobile game.
This restricting of access to the game's API came in tandem with the removal of an in-game tracking feature that had been broken for a few weeks, and left Go with no way for users to track where Pokémon were spawning. Fans were not happy.
"We have read your posts and emails and we hear the frustration from folks in places where we haven't launched yet, and from those of you who miss these features," read the statement on Facebook. "We want you to know that we have been working crazy hours to keep the game running as we continue to launch globally."
The game began its worldwide launch in early July, and is currently available in most territories. However, due to the incredible popularity of the game, servers have suffered from instability and certain features have been inaccurate or broken.
Go uses location data to populate the world with Pokémon that can be found and caught by players around the world. They're then levelled up, evolved and used in battles for control of gyms held by one of three teams players are able to join.
In regard to the "three-step" feature, which indicated roughly how close a Pokémon was to the player, Niantic said: "We have removed the display in order to improve upon the underlying design. The original feature, although enjoyed by many, was also confusing and did not meet our underlying product goals. We will keep you posted as we strive to improve this feature."
Discussing the removal of support for tracking sites like Pokevision, Niantic implied their access to the API was affecting performance. "We have limited access by third-party services which were interfering with our ability to maintain quality of service for our users and to bring Pokémon Go to users around the world," it said.