Was it the heat of the summer months causing everyone to go a little Pokémon tracking crazy? No-one will really know but during July, a seemingly large proportion of people were suddenly going mental over Pokémon Go, Niantics AR Mobile game that saw hordes of adults and children alike patrolling the streets phone in hand desperately trying to ‘catch ‘em all.’
Now a little over four months later and the shine’s worn off there are many who no longer play it. Something happened to Pokémon Go that saw it drop from one of the most played games of the summer to a game where the 1 star reviews took over.
Firstly, when the game was released it was a little buggy. The app would freeze when trying to catch a Pokémon , and the servers kept failing for rather long periods of time. Annoying as they are, these are not what caused the decline.
Upon release there were those who complained that it would see an increase in trespassing or that it would endanger people’s lives as they followed their phones off cliffs and so on. Although there were a few reports of places not liking being a Pokéstop or a gym, any incidents that happened were down to either stupidity or not understanding the game mechanics. In any case they did nothing to stop the popularity of the game.
What caused the influx of negative reviews and emotions towards Pokémon Go was a combination of a badly implemented or broken Pokémon tracking system and an over-reaction to a third-party app. Simply put, Niantic saw that there were programs out there that were helping players with their Pokémon tracking the most popular of which was an app caused PokéVision that displayed the place and type of all Pokémon near you.
To reiterate there was no Pokémon tracking system in the game that actually worked. At first you had a vague system that was not overly effective but soon even this stopped working. All players could do was just wander around aimlessly and test their luck.
So PokéVision was used to add content to the game that Niantic had yet to supply with any success. Bearing mind this app had over 10 million user per day, so there was a clearly a need for what it could do. In the end of July Niantic put the anti-3rd party app change in which stopped PokéVision working now players had no tracking in Pokémon Go at all, and were left in a clueless wandering state.
Bizarrely enough they’re reason for this was that 3rd Party apps were “interfering with [their] ability to maintain quality of service for [their] users.”
This was all months ago though, and Niantic are desperately trying to claw themselves back from the negative feelings of a lot of its players with new updates and changes. It’s not just Pokémon tracking either, they’ve brought a number of other things into the game including a buddy system to help you level up your Pokémon.
There is a Pokémon tracking system in the works that would show you the Pokémon at the various Pokestops and gyms. This isn’t great if you’re a rural player but it is still in testing, and does at least feel like a step in the right direction.
The problem is that the first people to play Pokémon Go saw a tracking method that seemed fun and within the style of Pokémon. For whatever reason it was taken away and the players are still looking out for that perfect tracking method, comparing it to the idea of what they thought it was going to be. All the newer countries getting access to Pokémon Go are likely not to experience any of the issues we do with Pokémon Tracking.
Maybe it’s time for players to just admit that the Pokémon tracking part of the game we saw briefly is not how it’s going to be, which leaves us all with two options. We can either adapt to the new Pokémon Go, or walk away with the nostalgic feelings and play something else.