Following harsh backlash from fans, Niantic Labs took to social media to explain why the “3-step” tracking feature was removed in Pokémon GO.
On Saturday, a new software update, released on Android and iOS, removed the game’s most appealing feature — an on-screen display that assists players in hunting down Pokémon in the real world. But while the “3-step method launched alongside the game, it never worked as intended. But the developer assured players they are working on bringing it back.
“We have removed the ‘3-step’ display in order to improve upon the underlying design,” reads an explanation posted to the official Pokémon GO Facebook page. “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.”
The latest update also cut off popular third-party Pokémon-tracking websites, such as PokéVision and PokéRadar, from accessing Niantic’s API, which immediately sent players into a rage. The lack of in-game tracking triggered some players to request refunds for in-app purchases they made.
In addition, Niantic has acknowledged the game’s massive following in Brazil, a country home to more than 200 million people. “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).”