After being asked by Pokémon Go developer Niantic to shut down PokéVision, Yang Liu, one of the creators behind the popular third-party Pokémon-tracking website, took to his blog to bemoan the game's "broken" tracking feature.
The letter is openly addressed to John Hanke, one of the developers at Niantic, who Liu says reached out to him directly to request PokéVision's disestablishment.
Liu states that PokéVision, which allowed players to pinpoint the specific location of Pokémon in their area, as well as a timer for how long those Pokémon would be available, was a direct response to the "broken" in-game tracking system.
"We made Pokevision not to 'cheat'. We made it so that we can have a temporary relief to the in-game tracker that we were told was broken."
Liu states that PokéVision was always meant to be a "temporary" solution.
"We saw PokéVision as a stop gap to this – and we had every intention in closing it down the minute that Pokemon Go's own tracker restored functionality."
In the letter, Liu claims that PokéVision raked in 50 million unique users, and 11 million daily users – which is impressive when stacked against Pokémon Go's estimated 100 million installs.
When asked during an interview with Forbes about third-party tracking websites, such as PokéVision and Poké Radar, the latter of which is still online, Hanke said that he was "not a fan."
"People are only hurting themselves because it takes some fun out of the game," Hanke said. "People are hacking around trying to take data out of our system and that's against our terms of service."
Niantic's original in-game tracking feature displayed users' distances from specific Pokémon via 1, 2, or 3 footprints, but in a recent update, the footprints were completely removed. Your distance from Pokémon is now determined by how close they are to the top of your "Nearby" list, a change that is contentious among fans (although Niantic tried to explain their creative decision in a Facebook post).