Millions of “Pokémon GO” players are using unofficial maps, GPS spoofing, bots, and other hacks to get ahead in the game.
The company behind “Pokémon GO,” Niantic, hasn’t addressed if or how it plans to stop cheaters.
Niantic CEO John Hanke recently told Forbes that sites like PokéVision and Poké Radar might be shut down in the future. They violate the game’s terms of service by scraping data from the game’s servers to see exactly where (and for how long) certain creatures spawn on a map.
Here’s the relevant bit from the interview (emphasis added):
F: How do you feel about Poké Radar and things that tap into the code and show where Pokémon are spawning?
JH: Yeah, I don’t really like that. Not a fan.
We have priorities right now but they might find in the future that those things may not work. People are only hurting themselves because it takes some fun out of the game. People are hacking around trying to take data out of our system and that’s against our terms of service.
Those “priorities” Hanke mentioned are likely fixing the game’s frequent server outages and the infamous “three-step glitch” It sounds like once Niantic has the game’s performance stable, it plans to start going after sites like PokéVision.
Clamping down on PokéVision and other services like it will likely upset the millions of people already using them to catch rare Pokémon and quickly level up in the game. 16 million people visited PokéVision’s website alone during the first six days of it being online, one of the site’s creators, Y.L., told Tech Insider.
Even with the early success of PokéVision, Y.L. said he would shut down the site without putting up a fight if Niantic asked.
“If Niantic told us to shut PokéVision down, we would comply, absolutely,” he said. “It is their game, and we respect that.”
Y.L. and the other two people behind PokéVision, J.R. and S.L., have been fans of the Pokémon franchise since they were born in the 90s. He said they created PokéVision to make the game more fun to play, not encourage cheating.
“We’re here to complement the game, not make it easier,” he said.