Niantic has launched a lawsuit against what it describes as an “association of hackers,” accusing it of creating “unauthorised derivative versions” of its games Ingress, Pokemon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
The lawsuit was initiated against two individuals whom Niantic describes as hackers: Ryan “ElliotRobot” Hunt and Alen “iOS n00b” Hundur, as well as the group calling itself Global ++. It mentions three apps: “Potter++ (or Unite++), PokeGo++, and Ingress++ (the “Cheating Programs”)”.
The lawsuit alleges that: “The Cheating Programs allow defendants’ customers to access Niantic’s servers and perform unauthorized actions in Niantic’s games, including “spoofing” (faking) their locations, obtaining information that is not available to players using Niantic’s legitimate apps, and automating key features of game play. The Cheating Programs thereby degrade the gaming experience for honest players, undermine Niantic’s reputation and goodwill, and interfere with Niantic’s business. It also appears that defendants use the Cheating Programs to steal valuable and proprietary game-related information and convert it for their own commercial purposes.”
An apparent trigger for the lawsuit is the imminent launch of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The lawsuit reads: “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.” The lawsuit alleges that Potter++ is a “Cracked version” of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Since Niantic launched its lawsuit, Global++ has taken down its website. PokemonGoHub posted a screenshot of a message from Global++ to its users, which said: “It is with great sadness that we will be shutting down indefinitely in compliance with our legal obligations.”
For further Niantic news, visit the company’s website.