FastPokeMap was probably the best Pokemon tracker ever. Its powerful ability to let players locate and find gen1 and gen2 Pokemon all over the world was a huge motivation to explore the outdoors while playing. Unfortunately, in early February 2017, Nintendo and Niantic came up with new security and safety features in an aim to protect their game servers from third party scanners. This move seemed to target only the popular trackers, and FastPokeMap was no exception.
Niantic later posted on their Facebook page giving reason as to why they had made that particular move. They said that services from the third party scanners were interfering with their ability to provide quality gameplay for gamers all over the world. They also issued cease-and-desist (C&D) order letters against these third party trackers. In short, these efforts were all geared to blocking the scanners from receiving Pokemon data. As a result, the developers were all forced to shut down. Niantic further responded by saying that map trackers are not meant to be part of Pokemon GO and neither do they fall within the spirit of playing the game. Therefore, their destruction was inevitable.
FastPokeMap developers, however, managed to crack through the barriers placed by Niantic. Reports say that they are working to create a workaround to make the app available again. They have also received lots of support from their fans, receiving an incredible 2 million views on their webpage and 350,000 new visits on one particular occasion. Also, on the developers’ Reddit thread, fans indicated that they do not mind ads and went ahead to request the developers to create a donate button so that they can send money to support efforts being made.
Niantic was not spared when it came to backlash. Not very many were happy with the updates. Furthermore, some players were really shocked and angered to find their progress on Pokemon GO having been fully erased. FastPokeMap developers also criticized Niantic for creating a lot of irrelevant code flow and instructions that only led to battery drains. They also said that changes made were meant to slow them down. They advised Niantic to listen keenly to their Pokemon community and pay attention to their needs. They indicated that even though Pokemon GO wasn’t meant to last forever, the move to block out third party scanners and trackers may just accelerate Pokemon’s rate of demise. The changes made by Niantic are also meant to deny players that use older Android versions the chance to play alongside massive resources that are wasteful and only lead to excessive battery drains.
Additionally, they also clarified that no matter how much Niantic tried, as long as the game remains popular, FastPokeMap will always find a way of returning to Pokemon GO players. Niantic definitely have a lot of finances at their disposal, having exceeded more than 100,000,000 installs on iOS and Android and making up to $200 million within Pokemon GO’s first month of release. Pokemon Go has however not reached certain markets such as Africa, Asia, China and Russia and they could probably earn much more if these markets were explored. It is not clear whether they were intimidated by the threats made by FastPokeMap developers.
One thing that’s for sure is that inhibiting the use of third party apps that assist users and making changes that lead to bad experiences for gamers only contributes to the game’s rapid decrease in popularity. The FastPokeMap developers are however constantly battling Niantic to make their app available. It could be up and running soon. However, if it does not happen, alternative apps such as PokeVS, Poketrack, Pokiimap, Pokesensor, PokeHuntr and PokeSearch are still availabe. They work flawlessly and equally assist players to track and find Pokemon around their neighborhoods.