Pokemon Go: The fake Harry Potter rumor and the patch of doom

Avec les hommes et le Pokey.

The Harry Potter  Pokemon Go clone widely reported over the weekend was a hoax, guys. JTHX News originally claimed IGN posted the news, but the supposed source article never existed. Which you could find out by trying to click on it. Journalism.

The big thing Pokemon Go players are freaking out about right now is this weekend’s patch.

Niantic’s patch was directed at the three steps bug, but instead of fixing it, the studio removed it completely, which wouldn’t have raised much outcry on its own, but it was implemented in conjunction with an apparent cease-and-desist takedown request to the major tracking tools like Pokevision (which voluntarily complied). The intent, one suspects, is to drive players to spending on lure IAPs… or wander around cluelessly. Or, you know, quit.

The update also apparently reset a number of people’s accounts to square one, nerfed Vaporeon, and nuked iOS battery saving features, all of which together is leading to a surge in refund requests.

More news:

  • Niantic founder John Hanke has defended sponsored locations in the game, saying they are a “better way to monetize [a] game” instead of excessive in-app purchases. That would include the McDonald’s partnership.
  • Patrick Mulhern had a timely piece on Lorehound this weekend bringing some MMORPGer perspective to Pokemon Go’s community management and wondering why the heck Niantic is so quiet when it comes to crisis management.
  • This one isn’t a hoax: Russia is apparently in panic mode over the evils of Pokemon Go because obviously it’s a front for the CIA to collect data. “It feels like the devil arrived through [Pokemon] and is trying to tear our morality apart from the inside,” declared one member of parliament, though I can’t hold one member of parliament against a whole country, given our own homegrown nutjobs. The Emergency Situations Ministry (a real thing) is now offering “master classes” on the game, and the government is apparently planning its own patrotic-themed ARG, which will probably be boring and a waste of money.
  • This is probably not a good way to raise awareness for your cause: Apparently angry Brazilian players hacked John Hanke’s Twitter account because they are pissed the game is still not playable there.
  • Pokemon-themed fireworks are a thing in Japan, because of course they are.
  • Sydney, Australia, officials’ pleas to Niantic have apparently been met: The besieged Rhodes suburb is finally rid of one of the PokeStops that was causing ambulances delays and costing the city money in clean-up.
  • Expedia and Marriott are sponsoring a free trip around the world for Nick Johnson, the first person to capture all the American Pokemon; he’ll be sent to Paris, Hong Kong, and Sydney to capture the rest. He vows not to cheat!
  • Finally, the Silph Road reconfig via Reddit:

View post on imgur.com

With thanks to Nordavind on a few of these stories!

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