Hey Pokémon Go, how old is your map material?!
Pokemon Go players navigating the heart of a big city will probably be less likely to wonder how often the Niantic developers update the map material on which the Pokémon Go overworld map is based. But especially players on the outskirts of a city or in rural areas where there is a lot of construction, this question will have come to mind. The fact that you are not alone can also be seen from the answers from all sorts of players who replied to the initial post by coach oroyplata from Montana in the SilphRoad Reddit. The general tenor, roughly translated: “You want us to go out and play, Niantic! But then why is your map material old?”
Oberwelt does not reflect the real world
Why go outside when spawns aren’t updated to current real world realities, asks oroyplata from the US, explaining: “My hometown has seen tremendous population growth in the last two years (thanks, Texas and California), and I would expect that that these new housing developments and shopping zones are full of new Pokémon and nests,” said the trainer.
De facto, however, when walking through the neighborhood in Pokémon Go, only hectares of building land and no roads are displayed, i.e.: In the real world, the construction project is now complete, the infrastructure is in place, life has taken hold. But Pokémon Go generates the overworld map apparently based on map material that, according to oroyplata, must be at least three years old – i.e. at a time when all the innovations nearby were still under construction or were not even planned. “If there were reasons for “exploration” other than a new, lonely PokéStop in a sea of farmland, maybe I could be persuaded to use a smoke or two. I’m trying to understand why this game, one of the most common downloaded and played mobile games of all time, is neglected in terms of playability.”
“What should be the best place near me to play is marked as a construction site from years ago, so no Pokémon will spawn there. Super frustrating,” said another New Zealand player.
And what about the nests?
Many users of the SilphRoad Reddit agree with oroyplata, and express frustration with last year’s changes to nests that have rendered nest spawns completely irrelevant. Others point out that Niantic employees like Michael Steranka are more often made aware of such issues, but get zero response.
There is also great frustration among players who are actively working through the Wayfarer system to make their neighborhoods more attractive to players with new PokéStops and Gyms. “I’ve been working hard on Wayfarer to make my neighborhood full of stops. After 3 years it now has 8 PokéStops, 3 Gyms and how many spawns? 0. Because Niantic is too busy making all these negative QOL changes to that no one asked for instead of updating the map,” said Redditor StinkyTofuHF from Ontario, Canada. If the developers of Pokémon Go actively dodge such inquiries … then it will certainly be a long time before a map update comes. It is likely that this could cost a lot of money.