Ever since Pokémon GO launched back in 2016, numerous third-party apps and services have found their way online, aiming to give players an unfair advantage or to cheat the system. Aside from essentially breaking the game's infrastructure, these services can sometimes also infringe upon intellectual property rights, and it looks like Niantic has had enough.
The developer has reportedly filed a lawsuit against 'Global++', a group Niantic has described as an "association of hackers" that supposedly creates and distributes "unauthorised derivative versions" of its apps. Pokémon GO, Ingress, and even the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite are all reportedly affected, with apps being created for each which allow users to cheat; Niantic hopes to get proceedings underway before its Harry Potter game becomes fully available.
The lawsuit specifically mentions Global++ "principal developer" Ryan 'ElliotRobot' Hunt, Alen 'iOS n00b' Hundur, and 20 other members who couldn't be identified. It accuses the group of damaging Niantic's reputation and selling subscriptions to its users to generate "massive profits" (thanks, Business Insider).
"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."
"On information and belief, defendants have sold 'subscriptions' to their Cheating Programs to hundreds of thousands of users, reaping massive profits."