Niantic, the developers of Pokémon GO have been in hot water water with the game’s players as of late.
An update pushed out recently took away the footprints system which greatly helped plays locate Pokémon near them. They also cracked down on tracking websites – Google maps based tools for players that could help them locate Pokémon outside of the app. One of the biggest sites to go down was called PokéVision, which could possibly be down forever according to its co-founder.
To make matters even worse, Niantic’s CEO John Hanke’s personal twitter account was “hacked” – admittedly his password, “nopass” was extremely poor. The hackers, OurMine, stated that they did it to “test security” and “for Brazil & Argentina & Chile”. That last part refers to the fact that those countries don’t yet have official access to the game, and, like South Africa, are being left out in the cold.
To put a bandage on these gaping wounds, Niantic took to Facebook recently to explain the situation:
As many of you know, we recently made some changes to Pokémon GO.
– We have removed the ‘3-step’ 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.
– 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. The large number of users has made the roll-out of Pokémon GO around the world an… interesting… challenge. And we aren’t done yet! Yes, Brazil, we want to bring the game to you (and many other countries where it is not yet available).
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. We want you to know that we have been working crazy hours to keep the game running as we continue to launch globally. If you haven’t heard us Tweeting much it’s because we’ve been heads down working on the game. But we’ll do our best going forward to keep you posted on what’s going on.
Be safe, be nice to your fellow trainers, and keep on exploring.
The Pokémon GO team
Regardless of whether this announcement will satisfy the playerbase (and we’re not holding our breath that it will), we must admit that it was ballsy to even mention Brazil. It also sets a terrible tone, we think, something along the lines of “hey, if you hack us we’ll notice you!”.
Not the smartest move, Niantic.