The FastPokeMap developer is close to bring back his real-time Pokemon tracker. He took some time today to take swipe at Niantic.
Niantic's new encryption has been broken again. The developer of the popular Pokemon Go map service FastPokeMap has taken the lead in reverse engineering the new encryption. He expect to make FastPokeMap work again latest this Saturday. The team working on reverse engineering the latest security update have succeeded to break the encryption. It is apparently based on a pseudorandom number generator. They are now testing the code and plug it into the FastPokeMap server.
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The creator of FastPokeMap took the time today to post a lengthy open letter slamming Niantic titled "The fall of Pokemon Go." He says that Niantic's security measures are not stopping reverse engineers like him to keep scraping the servers. On the contrary these measures only hurt players. The new heavily obfuscated code introduced first the Pokemon Go app release 0.37.0 is depleting the battery. The new security adds a lot of overhead that require many more CPU cycles to communicate with the servers.
He also slams Niantic's decision to use Google's SafetyNet to block the app from running on rooted Android devices. "SafetyNet is like GameGuard for Android. It stops root and modified kernel from running the game. Side effect: Most Chinese brand, blackberry are blocked without even being rooted. The android ecosystem is dev friendly and encourages rooting as well. Cheaters don't need root to cheat. Reverse engineers can bypass SafetyNet easily to de-obfuscate & reverse engineer the code. Once again this security measure doesn't stop us but it stops legit users from playing," he said in this TwitLonger post.
The developer will keep reverse engineering Pokemon Go as long as the game is popular. He argues that the security measures hurt the game and will lead to the "fall of Pokemon Go." The reality is that Pokemon Go has a solid retention rate and millions of players are consistently in the game. The hype is over, but the game settled at a very high level that is beating other mobile games.
According to SurveyMonkey Clash of Clans currently has about 3.85 million weekly active users (WAU). With a weekly retention rate of 75% (a weekly churn rate of 25%), Clash loses about 960,000 players from week to week.
Pokemon Go on the other hand has 15.4 million weekly active users. This is 4 times as many as Clash of Clans. With a weekly retention rate of 75%, it loses though about 3.9 million users from week to week.
"The game is dying and it is all because of your poor choice to try to fight the wishes of your community. This is where you show off your true colors:. Are you making the game mostly for profits or for your community?," he asks at the end of the post. The ideal solution would be an official Pokemon Go API with read access for the community in the eyes of the developer.
Lots of Pokemon Go trainers are eagerly awaiting the relaunch of FastPokeMap. The interest in the status of the progress is staggering. This just shows again that players need an in-app Pokemon tracker. Why Niantic is not finally releasing the tracker functionality it is testing in San Francisco to everyone is strange.
Some sort of tracking would in the Pokemon Go app would motivate a lot of trainers to not use a 3rd party scanner like FastPokeMap.