In a bid to suppress a number of “cheat” apps based upon of its most popular games, Pokémon Go developer Niantic has reportedly filed an injunction against the hacker group responsible for their distribution. The lawsuit – which specifically names Ryan “ElliotRobot” Hunt, Alen “iOS n00b” Hundur, and lists 20 other unknown members of Global++ – accuses the group of being an “association of hackers” that makes “unauthorised derivative versions” of its augmented reality games.
As reported in Business Insider, Niantic accuses the group of infringing upon the developer’s intellectual property rights and giving players who are prepared to cheat an unfair advantage over those who do not.
As Niantic’s latest release, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, is already in beta testing in Australia and New Zealand, it’s thought the developer is filing now in order to prevent a similar app – reportedly called Potter++ and already in production – from affecting the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite player base. Global++ is also accused of profiting from unauthorised versions of Niantic’s other augmented reality game, Ingress, too.
Niantic recently launched a new gameplay system, Adventure Sync, that enables players to count their steps in-game without needing to keep the app open. Unsurprisingly, Niantic’s first implementation of the system was for Pokémon Go, helping players hatch eggs and earn candy without draining their phone batteries.
“This key feature unlocks a wide variety of gameplay opportunities on the Niantic Real World Platform, serving as an efficient and phone-friendly high-engagement tool that inspires players to head out into their local communities,” said Niantic CEO John Hanke at the time. “We’re looking forward to finding new and exciting ways to implement it in our other games in the future.”
Niantic also teamed up with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to enhance global tourism and develop “innovative tourism experiences through real-world games”. Described as “the leaders in mobile augmented reality (AR) experiences”, Niantic has been tasked with curating “unique campaigns to foster exploration and build awareness of destinations around the world”.