Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs is holding firm on its stance against unauthorized third-party services that work with the game, but the company said today that it will be reinstating some accounts of users who may have been inadvertently causing chaos on the game’s servers.
The accounts in question may have been using software that Niantic refers to as "add-on map apps," which are user-created tools that show you where you can find particular Pokemon around you.
"Some players may not have realized that some add-on map apps do more than just show you nearby Pokémon," said Niantic CEO John Hanke in a blog post. Apps that scrape Niantic’s servers for data violate the Pokémon Go terms of service, which is why tools like PokéVision were forced to shut down. While there are other similar apps that don’t do that, some of them collect user data and send it to Niantic. That process "can have an effect similar to DDoS attacks on our servers," said Hanke. It appears that Niantic did not intend to ban users of those services.
"Because of this we have had to ban some accounts associated with using these add-on map tools, leading to confusion by some users about why they were banned," Hanke continued, noting that these accounts represent "a small subset" of the banned users. "As a result of some changes made to our infrastructure, we are now able to unban this set of accounts."
Hanke noted that there are no plans to unban accounts that Niantic determined to be using apps or sites that would allow them to "remotely capture Pokémon, battle or deploy on Gyms, or harvest resources from PokéStops." The company confirmed earlier this month that it had was permanently banning the accounts of anybody who was caught cheating.