Niantic has filed a lawsuit against Global++, an “association of hackers” that allegedly makes and distributes “unauthorized derivative versions” of apps. Niantic refers to these derivative apps as “hacked” while Global++ refers to them as “tweaked.” Regardless, these derivative versions (PokeGo++, Ingress++, and Potter++) give users an unfair advantage, while simultaneously infringing on Niantic’s intellectual property rights, Niantic says in the lawsuit.
Specifically, these derivative apps include features like GPS manipulation, auto walking and sniping, all of which are against the game’s Terms of Service and Player Conduct code.
“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’s games altogether. Defendants’ schemes therefore damage Niantic’s reputation and goodwill and interfere with Niantic’s business,” the lawsuit says.
If you’ve ever complained about spoofers ruining the game for everyone else, then you understand why Niantic is filing this lawsuit.
The timing of this lawsuit is absolutely deliberate as Niantic attempts to protect its investment in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
“Niantic files this motion on the eve of the United States launch of Harry Potter, the culmination of a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment by Niantic, the success of which is threatened by defendants’ unlawful conduct,” Niantic says in its motion for a preliminary injunction.
Niantic has named two specific defendants, plus an additional 20 “Doe defendants” in their lawsuit. While the legal process could take months, Global++ already appears to be shutting down in response. Both their website and their Discord servers have been deleted.