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Pokemon • Feb 17, 2019

Pokemon Go Lawsuit: How It Affects PokeStops & Gyms

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Pokemon Go Lawsuit: How It Affects PokeStops & Gyms

Pokemon Go burst onto the gaming scene back in 2016. However, a lawsuit from then, regarding the location of PokeStops and gyms, is only close to being settled now.

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Pokemon Go Lawsuit

The lawsuit originates from several homeowners suing Niantic due to how PokeStops caused Pokemon Go players to congregate near their house. These lawsuits have been consolidated into a class action lawsuit.

Niantic's inclusion of various PokeStops, and/or gyms, on or around private homes caused the lawsuit. Over two years later, it appears the lawsuit may be coming to a closure.

A settlement has been proposed, which if accept by a California federal judge, would result in Niantic having to be more cautious about how PokeStop and gyms work going forward.

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Pokemon Go Raid Battles can cause a large congregation of players...

Changes to PokeStops and Gyms

The potential changes to PokeStops and gyms within Pokemon Go is substantial. The proposed settlement includes the following:

  • Upon complaints of nuisance or trespass and demands of the removal of a “PokeStop” or “Gym,” the company will make commercially reasonable efforts to resolve the complaint and communicate a resolution within 15 days.
  • Owners of single-family residential properties get rights of removal within 40 meters of their properties.
  • Niantic will maintain a database of complaints in an attempt to avoid poor placement of these virtual creatures.
  • When Niantic’s system detects a raid of more than 10 players congregating, a warning message will appear on their screens reminding them to be courteous and respectful of surroundings.
  • Niantic is also working with user-reviewers and mapping services like Google Maps to also mitigate any problems plus maintaining a mechanism so that park authorities can request a park’s hours of operation be honored.
  • At the company’s expense, Niantic will have an independent firm audit compliance with obligations during a three-year period.

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While Pokemon Go remains very popular to this day, and will almost certainly retain this popularity for a long time to come, the hype isn't what it was upon release. Consequently, the distress of these complaints, along with the number of them, may have lessened in 2019.

The proposed settlement was reported by the Hollywood Reporter.

PokeStop Gym Nominations

Another feature that Niantic have been trialling for some time now is the ability to request new PokeStops and gyms. The ability to do this would alleviate, at least somewhat, the issue of urban players having more PokeStops available than rural players.

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Interestingly, the addition of this feature would contradict the settlement to some degree. As a result this feature may need to be altered further before, and if, it gets release fully.

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Pokemon Go