‘Pokemon GO’ Players Upset Over Niantic Removing Tracking Are Demanding Refunds

Pokémon GO players are upset over Niantic removing tracking from the app. In response, they are demanding that Niantic issue refunds for the lack of tracking.

According to an article by Kotaku, it reports that Pokémon GO players are requesting refunds for in-app purchases. They claim that the recent updates to the popular gaming app negates its functionality in which they made said purchases specifically for. Originally, Pokémon GO‘s tracking would give players an idea of nearby Pokémon within their vicinity. The tracking also included a series of steps to help players figure out an estimate of how far said Pokémon are from their current location. Players would then select a specific Pokémon of their choice, utilize the gaming app’s compass, and follow directions in hopes of capturing the Pokémon they desire.

To be frank, the tracking in Pokémon GO made the game far more user-friendly for players, giving them an idea on where they would need to explore to find their desired Pokémon.

Pokemon, Pokemon Go, Hong Kong, Niantic
'Pokemon Go' is taking the world by star and quickly becoming the most-popular downloadable app in history. The app recently launched in Hong Kong in which numerous Hong Kong fans took to the streets to find Pokemon. [Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images]

Given that tracking makes Pokémon GO more accessible to players, it would be smart for Niantic to keep the feature in the game. Unfortunately, they removed the tracking which was first seen as a “three-step glitch,” in which all nearby Pokémon were shown the furthest distance possible. Eventually, Niantic removed tracking altogether.

To get by, Pokémon GO players were using third-party tracking programs, such as Pokévision, to find their Pokémon. Utilizing Niantic’s API data, these third-party apps were able to emulate tracking. Eventually, those third-party apps were shut down too.

Niantic, in an attempt for damage control, tried to explain their reasons for removing tracking. They also tried to rationalize the shutting down of third-party apps.

“We have removed the ‘three-step’ display in order to improve upon the underlying design. The original feature, although enjoyed by many, was also confusing and did not meet our underlying product goals. We will keep you posted as we strive to improve this feature.

“We have limited access by third-party services which were interfering with our ability to maintain quality of service for our users and to bring Pokémon GO to users around the world. The large number of users has made the roll-out of Pokémon GO around the world an… interesting… challenge. And we aren’t done yet! Yes, Brazil, we want to bring the game to you (and many other countries where it is not yet available).”

Despite said attempt, they still received the ire of many Pokémon GO players. In a state of anger, many of them actually demanded refunds for their in-app purchases claiming they were to be used alongside tracking. Now that tracking is removed, their purchases are, to them, null and void — or useless. Apparently, many of them are actually having their refund demands honored, as seen in a Reddit thread in which Reddit users who play Pokemon GO are sharing stories of how they are getting refunds from Niantic for in-app purchases.

Right now, it is believed "Pokemon Go" only features the first generation of Pokemon. There are currently five generations. Ergo, "Pokemon Go" has potential to expand. [Image via The Pokemon Company]

The automated process for refunds on iTunes seems to be going without a hitch according to many who got the app on Apple devices. For those who got the app through Google Play for Samsung devices, refunds on purchases are limited to 48 hours after the purchase. However, many Pokémon GO players are reporting success in getting their refunds by calling Google’s support.

[Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images]