John Hanke, the CEO of Pokémon Go developer Niantic, hinted in an interview with Forbes‘ Ryan Mac that popular fan-made tools like Pok
é Radar, and Pok
é Notify may not be long for this world.
Here’s what Hanke has to say about those apps:
Yeah, I don’t really like that. Not a fan. We have priorities right now but they might find in the future that those things may not work. People are only hurting themselves because it takes some fun out of the game. People are hacking around trying to take data out of our system and that’s against our terms of service.
As Kotaku’s Patricia Hernandez points out, lots of players are only turning to these tools — largely used to show, on a map, where Pokémon are appearing and when they will vanish — because the game’s own system for tracking Pokémon have been broken for about two weeks now.
But, as Hanke notes, those tools are very much against Niantic’s terms of service, which every player agrees to when they create their Pokémon Go accounts. Niantic would be well within its rights to turn off those external services, if and when it chooses to.
As for Hanke’s argument that using those tools “takes some fun out of the game” — well, that’s largely for players to decide on their own. But so long as systems like the Pokémon Nearby tracker aren’t working, it will keep driving people towards those unauthorised tools.
In the meanwhile, as Hanke says, Niantic has “priorities right now,” likely referring to its push to bolster the game’s servers to the point where the Pokémon tracker can start working reliably again. So it might be some time before Niantic has enough free time and manpower to start worrying about unauthorised apps.