Developer Niantic Labs' latest update for its popular augmented reality mobile game may have introduced some exciting new features; however, not all players seem to be thrilled with the changes. Besides adding the new Buddy Pokémon system, Pokémon Go Plus support and numerous fixes, the update - 0.37.0 for Android and 1.7.0 for iOS - also blocked players with rooted and jailbroken devices from capturing the little pocket monsters.
"We continue to focus on eliminating bots and scrapers from Pokémon Go," the Pokémon Go team wrote in a blog post on 10 September. "Rooted or jailbroken devices are not supported by Pokémon Go."
Players with jailbroken or rooted devices who did get the update were soon met with a message that reads: "This device, OS, or software is not compatible with Pokémon Go."
As part of Niantic's amped up efforts to further curb cheating and bolster security in its beloved game, the move did come as an upsetting one for many "innocent" players left behind who may have got these devices for alternative reasons and not necessarily to cheat in the game.
Many users have already taken to Reddit forums to mention their own efforts to claim refunds for their in-app purchases.
"Companies tend to notice a little more when they get hit in the wallet," Reddit user GnothiSeauton wrote in a lengthy post detailing how he approached Google customer service to claim a refund for his own purchases in the game. "Just like all you other rooted phone users, I am also left without access to the game after the recent v.37 update, and it's only a matter of time before v.35 stops working and forces you to update.
"Since Niantic has decided to block legitimate players, who are rooted users, after previously letting us play the game and make purchases, they have denied us access to the content which we paid for. That's tantamount to fraud. I wouldn't have had a problem with it if they blocked rooted users from launch. However, doing it 2 months into the [game] show after rooted users have invested time and money into the game, is completely unscrupulous."
Another Reddit user deemed Niantic's ban on rooted and jailbroken device users a "knee-jerk reaction", saying there are numerous other personal or technical reasons why people have these devices.
"I'm not currently but I have been in the past, and it damn sure wasn't so that I could cheat at a game," Reddit user bizarrogreg wrote. "The benefits of rooting are extensive, depending on what you want out of it. Better battery life and faster processing were the main ones for me.
"I think that Niantic is bandaging a situation rather than addressing it properly. Cheaters exist, and ruin experiences for legit players, in every popular multiplayer game since ever. Blanket banning a huge chunk of your playerbase is foolish."
As expected, many users have already reportedly discovered workarounds to the ban.
The update included the new Buddy Pokémon system that allows players to choose their favourite Pokémon as a "buddy" to go on walks with, gather extra candy and even bond with the little critter.
Besides, the update introduced support for the soon-to-be-released £34.99 Pokémon Go Plus device coming out on 16 September that lets players capture Pokémon and collect Pokestop items without having to take out their phones.