But “aggressive banning” will continue.
Pokemon Go developer Niantic Labs has revealed it will be lifting bans for certain Pokemon Go users that have been swept up in the studio’s recent efforts to penalise players who were to found to have used third-party tracking apps.
The move is explained in a new post on Niantic’s website studio from CEO John Hanke.
These apps can have an effect similar to DDoS attacks on our servers
“Some players may not have realised that some add-on map apps do more than just show you nearby Pokemon,” conceded Hanke. “Each end-user app can be used as a collection tool by the app creator, invisibly collecting and forwarding data to the app creator with or without the knowledge of the end user.”
“These apps can have an effect similar to DDoS attacks on our servers. 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. This is a small subset of the accounts banned.
“As a result of some changes made to our infrastructure, we are now able to unban this set of accounts.”
Hanke stressed that add-on maps which scrape data from the Pokemon Go servers still violate the game’s Terms of Service and using them may still result in an account ban going forward.
“We continue to work to ensure the integrity of the game and the health of our servers by blocking unauthorised access and at times by banning offending accounts,” said Hanke in the statement. “This includes blocking bots, data scraping operations, and banning end user accounts associated with those activities.”
Accounts whose sole purpose was to scrape data are not being unbanned
“Accounts whose sole purpose was to scrape data are not being unbanned. Accounts which used apps or websites to remotely capture Pokemon, battle or deploy on Gyms, or harvest resources from PokeStops are also not being unbanned. Our main priority is to provide a fair, fun, and legitimate experience for all players, so, aggressive banning will continue to occur for players who engage in these kinds of activities.”
Niantic began taking action against certain players earlier this month, maintaining the studio’s “main priority with Pokemon Go is to provide a fair, fun, and legitimate game experience for all players.”
Luke is Games Editor at IGN’s Sydney office. You can find him on Twitter @MrLukeReilly.