After a long and arduous legal battle, Pokemon GO developers Niantic will recieve a huge payout from hackers.
Niantic, the video game developer most notable for creating cultural sensation Pokemon Go, has dealt with hackers a lot. The game, which has been a monstrous financial success for Nintendo and continues to be popular, suffers from attacks frequently.
The game has suffered a lot of intervention by digital opportunists and has had to make a lot of pushback on virtual attacks.
One such pushback came in the form of an aggressive lawsuit against hacking group Global++. The group, as alleged by Niantic, created and sold hacked versions of Pokemon Go. This allowed players to use features like "auto-walking", and let them spoof their GPS locations so that players could appear anywhere in the world on the map.
As well as accusing Global++ of creating these apps for Pokémon Go, they also allege that they hacked other Niantic games, Ingress and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Global++ Pokemon Go Lawsuit
After ignoring a series of cease and desist letters from Niantic, Global++ finally received the legal slap on the wrist. The lawsuit was filed in mid-2019, and once it had been issued, Global++'s social media accounts blacked out. The company fell back and tried to prepare to face the legal proceedings.
In the details of the settlement, the hacker group was found to have accessed the map data of Niantic's games and profited from them by selling access to them through a subscription model.
Global++ was admitted to numerous federal law breaches, including copyright infringement, something the Pokémon Company notoriously doesn't take lightly to. They also confessed to violations of California's Computer Data Access and Fraud Act.
As a result, Niantic and Global++ have settled their disputes with $5 million to be issued to Niantic for damages and breach of copyright. Not only that, but the group of hackers must cease several activities. This includes accessing Niantic's code, making hacks based on their games, and selling them.
Pokemon Go's Lawsuit Hell
This is a huge win for Niantic, as they haven't had much luck in the lawsuit department. In fact, this is the first time they've ever been on the receiving end of a legal win.
Niantic has suffered the wrath of homeowners complaining about trespassers on their property while playing Pokémon Go. The developers settled the lawsuit with them, paying $4 million in legal fees and an extra $1,000 to each plaintiff. This, however, allowed them to get off the hook without taking liability for the actions of the players.
Attendees of the Pokémon Go festival also filed a lawsuit against Niantic, as the fest turned into a total disaster. 20 to 30 people contacted a Chicago lawyer to press charges against the developer due to their poor experience.
Niantic promised the opportunity to capture rare Pokémon at the fest, something that attendees were unable to do. After the lawsuit was settled in 2018, the developers paid out $1,575,000 to attendees for expenses. These include car rentals, hotels, flights, and more.
Legal trouble seems to follow Pokémon Go everywhere; a man has been fined for breaching UK lockdown to play the game. Still, there's plenty of Pokémon Go excitement to come, as the latest event has been revealed.