As we anticipated, the Pokemon Go madness is nowhere near its end, and many, many people still download the app day after day. There have also been many cases in which the game directly led to altercations, trespassing and destruction of public property, so naturally, there are also many people (even though their number isn’t even close to that of fanatic players) who have complained about the game, made petitions and written directly to Niantic, asking for their community space or even their private property to be excluded from the game.
Now, a married couple from Detroit, Michigan, by the name of Jayme and Scott Dodich, have filed a class-action lawsuit against not only Niantic, the developers of Pokemon Go, but also against The Pokemon Company and Nintendo. This lawsuit was filed in a California court, and asks these companies to stop placing the virtual creatures on private properties or in their near vicinity without approval from the owners. They also say that owners of property that attracts Pokemon Go players should get a part of the profits made by these 3 companies. That only seems right and, as a matter of fact, we don’t know why no city has asked for a cut of the profits, because the Pokemons are placed on their public spaces, and it’s very improbable that Niantic ha asked permission from any mayor or local council.
In the same lawsuit, the Dodich family says the app download number has is over 30 million, and the revenue generated by these downloads exceeds 35 million US dollars. Those numbers are actually a downscale, as Niantic themselves just admitted to the Los Angeles Times that the download number is now over 100 million. Of course, when it comes to money, they didn’t disclose the income or profits they made from these downloads. It’s thought that only in the first month after the release of Pokemon Go, the game generated more than $200 million.
The family says hundreds of Pokemon Go players come to their neighborhood every day, as there’s a Pokemon Gym right across the street and 7 Pokestops are located in the area. They say people are constantly trespassing private property, sitting on their lawn without a care, damaging landscape and even looking inside through their windows or getting verbally violent when they are told to leave private property.
In the Dodiches’ exact words:
“Nobody gets sleep anymore. How is this acceptable? They hang out on our lawns, trample landscaping, look in vehicles. We don’t feel safe. I don’t feel safe sitting on our porch. Defendants have shown a flagrant disregard for the foreseeable consequences of populating the real world with virtual Pokemon without seeking the permission of property owners.”
The companies behind Pokemon Go don’t really seem to give a fuck about these matters, as they placed Pokemons or even Pokemon Gyms in sacred places like the Holocaust Museum or the Hiroshima bombing memorial. Their tactic is probably putting Pokemons wherever they please, knowing it’s not right, and just waiting for the complaints to come in before, sometimes, doing something about it.
The only “precautionary” measure Niantic ever takes is making a form that allows anyone to make a complaint, but states that they don’t guarantee they will actually do anything about it. Maybe after this lawsuit, many more will follow and the ignorant companies will be forced to comply with owners’ or community requests. Who knows, this might even be the beginning of the end for Pokemon Go.