Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Pokémon Go just had its most lucrative month for three years

UPDATE: Niantic offering compensation for "previous issues".

UPDATE 8.20PM: Niantic says it will be offering compensation to Pokémon Go players following what is calls "previous issues experienced by Trainers".

Although the company has once again sidestepped acknowledging specific problems reported by players, it says it will be providing two free Raid Passes per day, from 9pm in the UK (1pm PDT) on Saturday, 7th September, until 9pm in the UK on Sunday, 8th September.

ORIGINAL STORY 4.22PM: After a quiet start to the year, Pokémon Go has had a busy summer. And in August, no doubt helped by the arrival of fan-favourite Shiny Rayquaza in raids, the game had its fourth-highest earning month ever.

Pokémon Go grossed an incredible $110m (£89m) in August, up 44 per cent on the same month last year. It's the best monthly total for the game since September 2016, three months after launch.

And yet for a game which is earning money hand over fist, fans continue to be exasperated by developer Niantic's mistakes.

The apparent removal of Shiny Pokémon - the collection of which is a core reason many spend hours of their time playing - continues to be an issue. Again and again when an in-game event finishes, the ability to find recently-added Shiny Pokémon disappears, as if the game had been reset to an earlier point before they were unlocked.

Take Barboach and Carvanha, for example, which had their Shiny versions released in August during the game's Water event. When the event ended, reports of their Shiny versions dried up. The same was true for Poliwag, whose Shiny variant was released a week before.

Worse, this week saw the reintroduction of Shiny-possible legendary dogs Entei, Suicune and Raikou into raids. For the first 16 hours they were available, only one of the three was reported by fans to be giving out Shiny forms.

Hunting for Shiny Pokémon takes time, but capturing Pokémon from raids costs raid passes which can be bought with premium currency paid for using real-world money. Writing on reddit, fans said they had spent money on these only to find out later no one had reported a Shiny Entei or Suicune as available.

Every single time this has happened - there's a fan-made list (pictured below) with examples of a dozen species affected in 2019 - it has taken fans to find the problem and report it on fan reddit The Silph Road before it is resolved. This can take days or even weeks, as finding Shiny Pokémon is deliberately designed to be rare occurence. As soon as the issue blows up on The Silph Road, Shiny reports of the affected species begin to filter through again within a few hours.

This shouldn't be an issue fans have to keep track of on behalf of Niantic, and yet this continues to be the case. Fans have now launched a Discord to continually report Shiny Pokémon and check species have not been switched off, such is the frequency this happens, and the difficulty of crowd-sourcing finds.

Niantic has never acknowledged the issue. Considering the money Pokémon Go generates, fans feel it is well beyond time this stops happening. We've asked the developer what it will do to stop it happening again.