Niantic Labs recently took a few decisions that saw Pokémon Go drown with a lot of negative feedback. When you have amassed millions of followers and fans, a backlash is only going to have that large an impact. However, both the developer and the game’s community manager maintained radio silence throughout this period. This wasn’t appreciated by fans in the slightest. Their persistence, though, has finally paid off as Niantic Labs stepped forward earlier today to issue a statement.
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).
Over the weekend, Pokémon Go was updated to drop support for several third-party apps that many players used to help hunt down Pokémon and calculate their strengths. The community did not like the fact that Niantic Labs is prohibiting them from using third-party features which should have been provided in the game from the start. Additionally, such apps were helpful for players with full-time jobs or who lived in rural areas where Pokémon are scarce. One player summed it up by saying that the third-party apps were simply helpful in making Pokémon Go what it should have been from the start.
The resulting backlash saw thousands of players requesting refunds for their in-app purchases and bomb the game with negative reviews on both stores. New features, content, and more is required, but the developer is seemingly stuck with ensuring a stable release worldwide. Today’s statement is a small first step for Niantic to amend the situation. It will have to do better to cater to its bolstering fan-base.
As for the matter of not communicating with the players, the developer stated that it has been busy working on the game. “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.”