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After a flood of negative feedback, Pokémon Go's developer is finally ready to talk

But Psyducks the tough questions.

The past few days have seen Pokémon Go's popularity plunge among hardcore fans.

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An unannounced app update over the weekend removed the game's malfunctioning tracking feature and simultaneously blocked third-party tools that helped players hunt down Pokémon and calculate their potential strengths.

The changes were not welcomed by the community. Fans had created the third-party tools such as Pokévision in lieu of the app's own limited range of features. Thousands used them - they were a huge help to people in rural areas where Pokémon were scarce, or people with full-time jobs whose time was scarce, or who simply wanted to replicate what Pokémon Go should be doing already.

In response to the changes - and to the lack of communication from developer Niantic - players requested refunds for their in-app purchases and flooded the app with negative reviews.

Niantic's blocking of tools such as Pokévision had angered fans, but the lack of warning, or explanation, or any communication of any kind made things a whole lot worse.

One of the top-voted posts on the Pokémon Go subreddit is this cartoon:

The former community manager for Niantic got involved:

And the community manager for Niantic's other game, Ingress, revealed the studio, bafflingly, still did not have a Pokémon Go-focused community position.

Now, finally, Niantic is ready to talk.

Here's Niantic's statement addressing the recent patch in full:

Some fans have reacted positively, praising Niantic for finally breaking its silence.

But others have argued the statement does not address where Pokévision and others will be back in the future, or changes to the app which have seemingly made catching Pokémon more difficult.

It's a small first step for Niantic, then, but there's a long road ahead - and like all mobile apps, interest in Pokémon Go will only last for so long.

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