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Pokemon • Jun 17, 2019

Forget bans, Niantic have gone nuclear on Pokemon Go hackers

Forget bans, Niantic have gone nuclear on Pokemon Go hackers

Pokemon Go players have long wanted hackers to be banned from the game but it looks like Niantic are going one step further than that...

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Bans? Niantic suing Pokemon Go hackers

The creators of Pokemon Go, Ingress Prime and the soon to be released Harry Potter: Wizard's Unite are suing the creators of some of the most prominent hacks for Pokemon's most famous mobile game.

Niantic describe Global++, software that provides players with tools to find rare Pokemon and spoof their GPS, as an association of hackers. In contrast, the Global++ website describes themselves as offering "tweaks".

Case 3:19-cv-03425
Niantic highlight the differences between Pokemon Go and PokeGo++ with this screenshot...

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One of the apps they provide, called PokeGo++, has been highlighted by Niantic saying it is "creating derivative works". They also allege that the software infringes their copyright. Additionally, the lawsuit also claims the software enables cheating and accesses Niantic's network, computers and servers.

Since the news of the lawsuit made headlines, Global++ have taken down their website, alongside their Twitter and Facebook pages. This is hardly a surprising move considering that due to the success of Pokemon Go, Niantic are worth around $4 billion. Nobody wants a 4$ billion company in a legal battle with them, after all.

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Is spoofing cheating?

It has long been debated whether spoofing or any other form of manipulating Pokemon Go should be considered cheating. Some believe any change to how Niantic intended the software to run is gaining an unfair advantage while simultaneously breaking Niantic's terms and conditions - others believe they can play the game how they want.

Hacks in one form or another have been prevalent ever since Pokemon Go was introduced in the summer of 2016. Bans have been commonplace but relatively infrequent compared to the scale they are used on.

Niantic
Will Harry Potter: Wizard's Unite be as big as Pokemon Go?

Harry Potter mobile game

The news comes ahead of Harry Potter: Wizard's Unite releasing in the United States, a game which has been in beta testing in Australia and New Zealand. Interestingly, the lawsuit also alleges that a similar concept to PokeGo++, Potter++, has already been developed to provide the same 'cheats' to this game.

It is clear Niantic want to avoid the same mistake they made with Pokemon Go and make their new Harry Potter game as hack free as possible.


Could this be the first step in the long battle between Niantic and hackers to finally make Pokemon Go a spoof free place?

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