As anyone who has updated to the latest version of Pokemon GO, you would have noticed Niantic decided to eliminate the footsteps from the nearby Pokemon list. This is likely because Pokemon GO was highly glitched.

However, a good portion (about 50 million users) was using the Pokevision mapping service, among other third party maps, to replace the non-working footstep feature.

A large portion of the Pokemon GO community has begun speaking their opinions after Niantic had all 3rd party mapping services shut down at the same time they removed the tracking feature. The uproar sparked massive refund campaigns, but Yang Liu, the developer of Pokevision has maintained his silence on the topic.

Although, Yan Liu did release an open letter to John Hanke, the CEO of Niantic Labs to explain where he stands on the matter. Liu stated that the largest misconception is that Pokevision and similar sites are considered “cheats”.

Liu said Pokevision was not made as a way to cheat, but as a way to temporarily assist with the stress of the in-game tracker’s glitch. He then called out John Hanke by stating they stated the in-game tracker issues were being fixed, making people believe the fix would be coming soon. Pokevision was merely a means to fill the gap during this time, with the intentions of shutting the tool down the moment Pokemon Go’s in-game tracker had been fixed.

Liu suggests the reason the shutdown has been such a large issue is because so many players integrated it into the Pokemon GO experience. He argues that this reaction is a clear indication that Pokevision and similar site are key elements of Pokemon GO.

Liu said:

Once the in-game tracker and Pokevision was shut down, the Android and IOS ratings dropped greatly, from 4 stars before the update, to just 1-1.5 stars after the update. Although I am only a single person and one opinion, all of the players begging for the prior state to be restored is a large amount.

He also went on to suggest he may be biased about Pokevision reflecting large amount of negative ratings, social media outcry, and refund request, but he wonders if it may be the truth? There were no changes between the time Pokevision and the in-game tracker were disabled.

Liu also suggested that the feature may simply be something that players need, and not something they just enjoyed. It does not matter if the tracker is developed by Niantics, Pokevision, or someone else. Many players may see Pokemon tracking to be a core fundamental of the game.

While there are those who like to walk and find random Pokemon, but with 50 million users, and 11 million active users per day, it seems obvious a large portion of players looked forward to using a tracking method of some sort.

The question is, are customers always right? If more than half of your customer base is looking for third party fixes to enjoy something, is that not enough to help them out?

At this point, the ball is in Niantic’s court. Of course, they have the rights to do what they wish with the game, and Pokevision and similar sites run with or without its blessings.

Although some server overloading occurred, if developers like Liu and Niantics could work together, a solution could easily be found. We, like many people, just hope the tracking comes back in some form soon.

What are your thoughts on the lack of in-game tracking? Share in the comments below.