Niantic has filed a lawsuit accusing the group Global++ of copyright infringement, breach of contract, and a handful of other violations for creating and releasing hacked versions of Niantic-developed games like Pokemon Go and Ingress.
Business Insider reports that the lawsuit names 2 key figures of the “hacker association” Global++, along with 20 members that could not be identified.
According to the lawsuit, Global++ created and released apps called PokeGo++ and Ingress++, and had a similarly modified version of Niantic’s upcoming game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite ready for launch as well. Niantic goes on to say that each of those apps is based on code pulled and copied from the official versions of the game, a process that required Global++ to deliberately circumvent both Apple and Niantic’s security measures.
That code was then modified, repackaged, and resold to players looking to gain an unfair advantage over those playing legitimate versions of each game. Niantic’s lawsuit makes the case that distributing hacked apps undermines “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.”
Niantic is seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent Global++ from distributing its existing apps and the Potter++ app built off of Niantic’s upcoming game, and the group has already shut down its website and Discord servers seemingly in response to the lawsuit.