With the removal of tracking in Pokemon GO, and the simultaneous shut down of third party apps meant to act as a replacement for the broken feature, many fans have voiced their disappointment with Niantic, believing they have not been transparent in how they change their app. Niantic has heard their concerns and elected to be as transparent as possible with their newest patch, which puts an interesting twist on the game. Niantic announced
that now, to increase the challenge and fun of the game, Pokemon GO users will no longer be able to see Pokemon at all. Not only have they removed the minimal tracker that shows what is nearby, but even if you encounter a Pokemon you will not be able to identify what they are, their type, or even their weight. You will only be able to unlock these traits by walking a noted distance, after which one feature will unlock. Niantic says this emphasizes the spirit of the game, which is not partaking in a shared hobby with friends and rivals and living the dream of being a Pokemon trainer, but simply walking—a lot. “We believe this is what users want,” Niantic CEO John Hanke said following the release of the patch. “In the original Pokemon you could never see what was coming and you had to do a lot of walking. Those are the traits of a Pokemon trainer.”
Additionally, Niantic has introduced one new Pokemon as a tribute to the original games often unsung in other Pokemon games. Hanke says users may now occasionally encounter “Missingno,” the “glitch” Pokemon found in the original Red, Blue, Yellow, and Japanese Green. In the games, Missingno could be encountered a few different ways by exploiting code in the game that determined how Pokemon were encountered. Niantic says the Pokemon is a tribute and will randomly replace encounters, but like other Pokemon, you won’t be able to see them until you unlock their traits. However, Hanke says that players should forgo catching Missingno, as it could damage their save file. “We wanted to keep Missingno true to the original form, which could occasionally corrupt the game. The glitch is randomized so the effects could range from all your Pokemon being replaced with a sprite of Professor Willow to your account being deleted and
your email randomly distributed to spam sites.” When asked how players will be expected to avoid Missingno if they can’t see which Pokemon they have encountered, Hanke declined to comment. Niantic insists they are continuing to work on the broken features, server issues, complaints about their customer service and terms, and overall lack of any communication possibly due to their public relations leader leaving right before release to give birth. An anonymous employee claims they’re hoping that everyone will simply forget about their fumbles once they release the second generation of Pokemon. “We know people are unhappy, but the goal is to set the bar at a low point so that adding any feature will make people happy,” the employee said. “Then maybe they won’t notice if we never fix the tracking bug.” Pokemon GO fans who want to file a complaint have been directed to contact support via a carrier pigeon that has been painted a distinctive brown, and they should receive a return Spearow within a few weeks, but we’d like to remind users that Niantic’s Terms of Service enable them to plead the Fifth Amendment on any issues which may incriminate them as having done something unfavorable.