Niantic, the creator of Pokemon Go game, is filing a lawsuit against an association of hackers called as Global++. Speaking of Global++, it provides and distributes hacked and modified versions of the app.
Pokemon Go was launched in 2016 by Niantic and became hugely popular among Pokemon fans. No doubt that the game has a very complex concept on its own where players have to walk a long distance to hatch Pokemon eggs, hunt rare Pokemon and finding gyms. But some players circumvent game rules by using spoofing apps and derivative versions of the game.
As reported by Business Insider, Niantic is taking a strong stance by filing a lawsuit against Global++ and describes it as an association of hackers. Global ++ allegedly makes and distributes unauthorized, modified versions of games like Pokemon Go and Ingress which infringes Niantic’s intellectual property rights, says Niantic in the lawsuit.
The game is still very popular and is making millions of dollars each month through in-game purchases. Pokemon Go has made total revenue of $2.5 billion as of March 2019 as reported on the Business of Apps website.
The lawsuit also mentions the defendants of Global ++, which includes Ryan “ElliotRobot” Hun, who is believed to be the leader of the group. The other is Alen “iOS n00b” Hundur, who is the developer of these unauthorized apps. He also promotes these hacked games over his YouTube channel. The lawsuit also mentions 20 more “Doe-defendants” whose names are unidentified yet.
“Among other things, defendants’ schemes undermine the integrity of the gaming experience for legitimate players, diminishing enthusiasm for Niantic’s games and in some cases, driving players away from Niantic games altogether Defendants’ schemes, therefore, damage Niantic’s reputation and goodwill and interfere with Niantic’s business,” according to the lawsuit.
An excerpt from the lawsuit shows the interface of both Pokemon Go and PokeGo++ app.
Pokemon Go hackers apps – PokeGo++
Niantic is also seeking a preliminary injunction in this lawsuit, which requires Global++ and its members to stop selling modified versions of their games. Also, restraining them from doing any reverse engineering to the game code.
The lawsuit has also claimed that Global++ has made huge profits by selling subscriptions for these hacked apps. “On information and belief, defendants have sold subscriptions to their Cheating Programs to hundreds of programs to hundreds of thousands of users, reaping massive profits,” the lawsuit claims.
Niantic lawsuit refers to Global++ as an association of hackers, but nowhere in the complaint, it mentions that its users’ personal information was compromised.
The lawsuit also says that the hackers association had already made an unauthorised version of the Niantic’s next big game – the Harry Potter Wizards Unite game. The hacked game is called Potter++, which also provides users with an unfair advantage and infringes Niantic’s intellectual rights. Harry Potter Wizards Unite is currently in its beta phase and has only launched in New Zealand and Australia.
Niantic and WB are hosting an event on Tuesday to reveal more details on the Harry Potter Wizards Unite game and its launch schedule.
Global++ representatives have not yet responded over this matter when a request for comment was sent to them via their official Facebook page.