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Pokémon Go fans rage as tracking site shuts down, footsteps glitch 'fixed'

Pokévision says it is 'respecting Niantic and Nintendo's wishes'; closure may be indefinite

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Pokévision, one of the most popular tracking websites for finding Pokémon in Pokémon Go, appears to have shut down, a week after the CEO of the studio that developed the game warned that such services may no longer work.

Forbes and then Kotaku both noticed the closure early this morning. Pokévision was not affiliated with Niantic Labs, Pokémon Go's maker, or the app itself. It was a third-party knowledge base that revealed where specific Pokémon would spawn on a player's map and how long they would be available. Pokévision's FAQ said its data came straight from Niantic, which may have been a violation of the Pokémon Go terms of service.

In an interview with Forbes last week, John Hanke, Niantic's CEO, called the use of these sites and services cheating. "People are hacking around trying to take data out of our system and that's against our terms of service," Hanke said. He added that players "might find in the future that those things may not work."

That day seems to have come for Pokévision, though its administrators are being vague about what led to the closure. Early this morning, Pokévision tweeted this:

Pokévision added that "we kept it up as long as reasonably possible. Maybe things will change in the next few days." Kotaku contacted Pokévision's owner about the closure, but he gave vague answers as to why it was taken down. He told Forbes "it possibly could be" shut down indefinitely.

The closure is particularly upsetting to Pokémon Go players who not only feel they have done nothing wrong, but also suffered through the "three-step" glitch that incorrectly showed all nearby Pokémon as being the furthest away from the user. That was, incredibly, "fixed" by simply removing the one-, two- or three-steps indicator and showing only what type of Pokémon was nearby, without any idea of proximity.

Users are pouring out their anger through Twitter and Pokémon Go's subreddit. We've reached out to two Niantic representatives to ask about the studio's role in this closure and its response to fans' anger over the footsteps issue and Pokévision's shutdown.