'Pokémon Go' dev says it needed to block scrapers to expand

And those higher escape rates are a bug, not a scam to make you buy Pokéballs.

Gabriel Rossi/LatinContent/Getty Images

Niantic Labs is still facing backlash from some players over blocking many third-party Pokémon Go services, but insists that the moves are necessary. In a blog post it provided a graph (without any numbers) that it says shows how much traffic dropped off after it blocked many scraper services. It says that "freeing up those resources" is what enabled it to launch in Central and South America earlier this week, and blamed scrapers for delaying the rollout in the first place.

Pokemon Go server resources before/after banning scrapers

There's no indication of whether this strategy will change in the future, but it's still insisting it will continue work on new features once the game is "on stable footing." Finally, in something that will probably affect all players, it confirmed that a bug is causing an increase in the odds of escape and omitting the XP bonus, so you're not imagining it -- those Pidgeys and Rattatas really are harder to catch than they should be. It's working on a fix, but there's no word yet on when it will roll out, so you may want to save your Pokéballs when and where you can.