by Jim Lynch

Why I’ve given up on Pokemon GO for iOS

Jul 11, 2016
Consumer ElectronicsiOSVideo Games

Pokemon GO has proven to be a very popular game, but its server infrastructure is a real mess. Some players can't login to play, while others can't even register an account.

As I write this post, Pokemon GO is the top free app in the iOS App Store. The game has taken the world by storm, with people running around all over the place trying to capture various Pokemon.

When I first found out about the game, I was quite interested in trying it out. But now I’ve given up on Pokemon GO, and I’m not sure I’ll ever bother trying to play it again.

What happened? Well, as you might imagine given the game’s popularity, its servers have been absolutely swamped with millions of people trying to register or login.

It seems pretty clear now that Niantic, the company that makes Pokemon GO, was not ready for so many people to rush its servers. Players have been complaining about server problems since the game was released, and things don’t seem to be getting any better.

But I have to admit that I envy those who have been able to login and play, even with the server problems. I’ve tried to register a number of times and have not been successful.

At one point I thought I’d actually created an account, and I was told I’d get an email verification of my account, but the email never arrived. Trying to login with my supposed account just got a message that my user ID or password was wrong. So apparently my account was never created.

I decided to try again but each time I try to register an account, I now see this rather unpleasant and tedious message:

pokemon go registration message

I’m not the only one having registration or login problems. Take a look at the user reviews of Pokemon GO in the iOS App Store and you’ll see that others are having similar issues. As I write this post the game has an overall three star rating with more than 34,000 raters, which means that there are a fair number of unhappy and frustrated players out there.

I suspect that the relatively low star rating is also because of bugs in the game, and if that’s the case then it’s yet another example of Niantic needing to push out updates to the game as quickly as possible. Bugs, on top of login and registration problems, might drive away many players and kill lots of potential in-app purchases (which is how Pokemon GO makes money).

Don’t get me wrong here, I still like the idea of Pokemon GO. It seems like it might be a fun game, and I’m in favor of anything that gets people outside walking around and engaging in some sort of physical activity with their phones.

But it seems pretty clear that Pokemon GO’s server infrastructure still isn’t ready for prime time. Whether or not Niantic will be able to fix it soon remains to be seen. At the moment Pokemon GO still seems to be quite a mess.

As for me, I’m taking a pass on Pokemon GO for now. Perhaps in a few weeks or months I’ll be able to register an account and actually login to play. But by then I might have already forgotten about the game.

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