Just a few weeks ago, almost everybody in the world with a smartphone wanted in on Pokemon Go. The augmented reality game has garnered over 100 million downloads worldwide since it launched on July 6. But since the weekend, things haven’t been looking very well for Niantic, makers of Pokemon Go, since the company released an update for iOS and Android device users.
The object of Pokemon Go is for players to capture Pokemon using the smartphone’s GPS and camera features. One of the game’s fun features is that users can see Pokemon characters materialize in from of real-world scenes viewed by their phone’s camera. Hence, you may have noticed scores of people walking around with theirs heads turned down toward their phone screens while walking through streets, parks, cemeteries and other potential “Poke biomes.”
However, Niantic introduced two new changes to the game over the weekend.
In a recent tweet, Niantic told Pokemon “trainers” that the company has removed a previous three-step display feature in order to “improve upon the underlying design” of the game. The company also said limited access by third-party services that were “interfering with our ability to maintain quality or service for users…”
— Ali-A (@OMGitsAliA) August 2, 2016
— Pokémon GO News (@Pokeomon GoNews) August 2, 2016
Initially, players could tap what is called the Nearby button which served as a tracking feature that let users know which creatures are closest to their location. Footprints, ranging from 0 to 3, helped players determine how close they are to a character.
Recently, players have been complaining that the feature no longer works.
Niantic also appears to have blocked third-party services that offer players help in tracking down Pokemon characters. According to one such service, PokeVision, says the recent game update has shut them down.
Another third-party service provider, PokeHound.com, says it was sent a cease and desist letter by Niantic and Nintendo.
The recent developments shed some light into some of the intricacies of the mobile gaming industry and how app development, intellectual property and social media interact.
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