Niantic banned an ambitious trainer because he plays as good as a bot.
The troubles of Niantic are not ending anytime soon. The game is infested with accounts that have been built using bots. The new effort of banning such accounts appears to be making slow progress. Now a story hits that shows that the banning mechanism is flawed.
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Jimmy Derocher from Austin, Texas organized (via Kotaku) a 24 hour Pokemon Go marathon to try to collect one million XP using 10 lures. His optimized track "Jimmy's Loop" is 0.2 miles long and he devised some rules on how to make the most XP walking the loop.
The plan worked extremely well and Derocher collected several hundred thousand XP in the first 13 hours, but then a soft-ban from Niantic kicked in and the attempt to reach a million XP found its sudden end. This Pokemon Go event was streamed live online on Twitch and fans also came out to support Jimmy Derocher at this Pokemon Go record attempt.
The fact that Niantic destroyed this experience is bad PR. There are always gamers want to be the best at a game. That is why there is e-sports. If Niantic can not decide between a pro player and a bot, then the game is going to become uninteresting very quickly for ambitious players.
Jimmy Derocher only got hit by a soft ban and not by a permanent ban. Now it would be good time for Niantic to reach out to Derocher and apologize and make it somehow good.
Derocher has already made a name for himself earlier this month, when he collected over a million XP in a 2-day period.
The saturation of Pokemon Go has already kicked in. The Pokemon Go app is dropped out of the Top 10 free apps on iTunes. Niantic needs to focus now on keeping the current players happy and keep them spending money on PokeCoins. Pokemon Go is still ranks #1 top grossing app.
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