IMPORTANT UPDATE (a couple hours after the posting of the article)
Earlier today, Global++ website went down. Shortly after that, at exactly 12:28 p.m. EDT, the Administration made an announcement on their Discord server (main mean of communication) indicating that their operations would be shut down indefinitely in compliance with legal obligations (see images below). Precisely five minutes after this announcement, the entire Discord server was taken down (Bingo Hall was Global++). This confirms the legal actions taken by Niantic against spoofing/Global++ and their various apps.
In the last few hours, it has been reported by Business Insider that Niantic has filed a lawsuit against Global++ which is described by Niantic as an “association of hackers”.
While the news report doesn’t provide a source, Business Insider has been known as a reliable news outlet.
Global++ is a company developing various apps (such as Poke++, Ingress++, etc.) that allows users to simulate a fake GPS location, phenomenon better known as spoofing in the geolocation mobile gaming realm, which is an infringement on Niantic’s intellectual property rights. Since the release of Pokémon GO, and even Ingress, Niantic has been taken various actions in order to get rid of spoofers, but with very little success, so it makes sense for legal actions to be the next step.
On the verge of a wordlwide release for the upcoming hit sensation Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, it makes sense that Niantic is preparing to take further actions to ensure that their new game isn’t overwhelmed with hacker and cheaters.
The lawsuit reportedly says:
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.
While this doesn’t mean the end of spoofing in the geolocation mobile gaming realm, it certainly is a relief to finally see Niantic take legal actions against those promoting and allowing users to have an unfair advantage over others.
Global++ has reportedly also developed a Potter++ app for the upcoming Wizards Unite game in preparation for the launch of the game, which we believe to be on June 19/20.
This article will be updated as we gather more information. We are hoping to put our hands on a copy of the lawsuit or to get confirmation from Niantic on the matter.