A recent source of debate around Pokémon GO has been takedowns of third-party apps that, in the opinion of some, were offering features the main game should already have. Another has now joined the ranks, with the creator of PokéAdvisor stating that their website is having its access to GO data blocked.
This particular site helped players track their statistics and progress, and the site's owner shared the news on Reddit that it could no longer update profiles. Over on a separate thread users of this particular resource were upset that they had lost the means to quickly and automatically check their Pokémon's IV levels, in particular, details that aren't shared in the game.
Though PokéAdvisor is still live, as it's been shut out of the GO servers it's now read-only with out-of-date data; the site itself is carrying the following message.
Unfortunately, it appears Niantic has blocked PokeAdvisor from accessing your data. We will not be able to update your Trainer. The site is in read only mode, so you can search for your Trainer and download your Pokemon for a little while longer.
After saying little on the issue of third-party apps for a number of days, Niantic recently stated that it was shutting them out in order to clear server resources. The following text and chart are from that blog post:
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.
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.
Of course, there are also outright hackers out there attempting to break into systems, hijack social media accounts, and even bring down the service. Some of them have posted publicly about their attempts.
As mentioned in our original post, Niantic will continue to have its share of critics online for blocking out third-party apps and services, especially those that are perceived to be filling gaps in the actual game.
In any case the clampdown continues, and until Pokémon GO has additional features there'll be a core of fans that will be unhappy with the shutdown of various fan-made tools and resources.