Niantic Justifies Why It Blocked Third Party Services Like Pokevision

Pokevision blocked

Pokevision is one of the most popular Pokemon tracking services when it comes to finding out Pokemons.

After the infamous 3 steps bug in the game, there were numerous cries out on social media, Reddit and forums demanding to have the bug fixed as soon as possible.

Since that did not happen very soon, there came a service called Pokevision which proved to replace the 3 steps bug and give players, a chance to have a look at the Pokemons nearby them.

And the service gained immense popularity.

But soon, Niantic blocked Pokevision and any other similar services that used their API to dig out data and display them.

Why did Niantic block Third Party services like Pokevision?

In Niantic’s own words:

As some of you may have noticed we recently rolled out Pokémon GO to Latin America including Brazil. We were very excited to finally be able to take this step. We were delayed in doing that due to aggressive efforts by third parties to access our servers outside of the Pokémon GO game client and our terms of service. We blocked some more of those attempts yesterday. Since there has been some public discussion about this, we wanted to shed some more light on why we did this and why these seemingly innocuous sites and apps actually hurt our ability to deliver the game to new and existing players. The chart below shows the drop in server resources consumed when we blocked scrapers. Freeing those resources allowed us to proceed with the Latin America launch.

Here’s the graph that represents the server resources consumed before and after blocking services like Pokevision:

Pokemon GO Spatial Queries per Second

As you can see from the graph, just after these third-party services were blocked, there has been a sudden decrease of consumption of server issues which is now 1/3rd to what it was before!

This shows that the third party servers did more server load than the millions of players did together; as the queries to the server from the game were optimised, and well laid, while there was no control over the queries made from the API.

This is the main reason why Niantic blocked these third-party services which did a heavy server load.

Niantic adds more:

In addition to hampering our ability to bring Pokémon GO to new markets, dealing with this issue also has opportunity cost. Developers have to spend time controlling this problem vs. building new features. It’s worth noting that some of the tools used to access servers to scrape data have also served as platforms for bots and cheating which negatively impact all Trainers. There is a range of motives here from blatant commercial ventures to enthusiastic fans but the negative impact on game resources is the same.

As soon as these services were blocked, the game was ready to be launched in the Latin America including Brazil which would have another million players to query the server but the server was still able to handle it very well.

Also, the footprints removal were temporary, and Niantic is working on it to bring the footprint tracking feature back in the game in the next update.

Does this justify why Niantic blocked third-party sites like Pokevision? Comment your opinion below.