At least three websites that permitted Pokémon GO players to track Pokémon spawns through a website may have been shut down as reported by Forbes. Pokévision, Poke Hound, and Poke Bliss all currently have their functionality disabled in one fashion or another.
Niantic's CEO John Hinke has stated that he is not a fan of the third party services and alluded to possibly taking action against them in some form. It appears that this may have happened now.
This news comes on the heels of Niantic releasing an update to Pokémon GO yesterday. One of the changes made in the update was the complete removal of the "steps" on the "Nearby Pokémon" screen. Previously, the steps would change from 0-3 to indicate how far away a particular Pokémon was in a sort of hot/cold style of tracking them down. However, the in-game tracking system had been permanently set to show all Pokémon at 3 steps away regardless of their distance.
Pokévision's website currently has its functionality disabled. It has a floating text box stating "Our services are currently unavailable - please visit our Twitter for updates." The most recent tweet alludes to the site being disabled:https://twitter.com/PokeVisionGo/status/759666743115513856
Poke Hound's website has been replaced with an image of a sad puppy with the message "We tried our best :( - Check Twitter for updates". Their Twitter account no longer exists, but archives of its contents exist. There are two final tweets before the account was closed. The first tweet (chronologically speaking) is pinned and shows an image containing text that appears to be from an e-mail sent out to Poke Hound's userbase. It states that they received a Cease & Desist from Niantic's lawyers and will be The second is a text list of the Pokémon GO terms of service and states that Poke Hound "ticks almost all the boxes" on violations of the game's Terms of Service.
Well, it's not looking pretty. Turns out our code has been fine this entire time, but they're blocking the servers. We attempted a proxy list but for some reason that's not connecting either.
We're going to attempt again tomorrow, but if that doesn't work then we're out of ideas.
The post continues to state that they're thankful for the support of their users regardless of the outcome. They state that they'll try to bring the website back online tomorrow and follow up with the results of their progress.
We looked around for a few similar sites and haven't yet been able to find any other ones that were affected. There are multiple sites that allowed Pokémon GO players to track Pokemon either through gathering data from Niantic's servers or relying on user-reporting to some fashion.
We've reached out to Niantic and the three affected websites for comment.
What do you think of Niantic possibly shutting down the websites relating to tracking Pokémon through a third party service? Did you make use of one or more of these services? Has the reduction in functionality to the in-game tracking mechanic affected your play experiences? Let us know in the comments below!