Pokemon Go datamining group slashes engagement and output over Niantic’s poor management


Pokemon GO players could use a win right about now, but Niantic’s antics have made it harder and harder for the community to support the game and the company. Case in point: Popular POGO datamining group Pokeminers has announced that it’s stepping back from its work as a result of Niantic’s behavior.

“This has been a long time coming, and we do not take this lightly,” the group writes. “Over the last 6 months, we have slowly been building to this point, with Niantic consistently pushing us closer to the edge more and more with the game being in the worst state it’s been in years, new features with illogical game design choices, zero quality control or care to improve broken events, blog posts, and infographics leading to more bugs and confusion, not taking responsibility for their mistakes, breaking promises to the community, and refusing to communicate even basic things like what an event actually is or when in some cases or make good on any of their promises from the #HearUsNiantic movement.”

The Pokeminers have been instrumental not only in our own POGO reporting but in revealing Niantic’s manipulation of data in its player recruitment event to make it seem more successful than it probably was. Niantic has had a long stream of PR fails this year: nerfing Community Day, doubling down on surprise feature nerfs, laying off workers and scuttling projects, bungling multiple events, breaking its Pokemon NO comms promise, and jeopardizing player security. All but losing another pillar of the content-creating community is one more fail for the game as a whole, and Niantic would lose out too if the miners were to fully exit the scene, as they act as unpaid QA who help keep the game in check before updates are released to the wild.

Already the effects can be felt, as Niantic recently released Vivillon, a mostly useless pokemon that 20 different forms based on real-world locations (luckily “just” 18 in Pokemon GO), and that was a main series feature. While most likely the pokemon won’t be meta-relevant, the miners haven’t been shy about putting their foot down.

However, POGO community, for its part, is rallying behind Pokeminers on Reddit and retweeting the announcement to Niantic in hopes of a reaction. Expectations should remain low though, as Niantic has also tried to push for more multiplayer in their dying Pikmin Bloom game. A new update affecting mushrooms (raids) has players up in arms in every new social media post since then, as players lack communities to reasonably tackle the challenges and the rewards are not rewarding enough. Raids that took hours are now up to days. Essentially, the usual Niantic problem of not understanding or hearing their playerbase.

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