'Pokemon GO' Updated As Niantic Faces Lawsuit

‘Pokemon GO’ Update Rolled Out As Federal Judge Decides On ‘Virtual Trespassing’ Lawsuit Against Niantic

The Pokemon GO update launched on Friday is the first roll out in two weeks for the augmented reality game as Niantic gets sued for “virtual trespassing” caused by overenthusiastic PoGO players.

On Friday, game developers responsible for the former worldwide phenomenon have unveiled a new set of improvements for the mobile game. According to their official website, the Pokemon GO version 0.61.0 for Android and 1.31.0 for iOS devices includes newly added support for Traditional Chinese language as well as the installation of a Pokemon collection screen scroll bar.

Aside from that, Niantic game developers reportedly made “various bug fixes” and “minor text fixes” which basically means there is nothing major about the recently rolled out update aside from small tweaks that would make gaming and “catching ’em all” more smooth sailing.

But while this may seem insignificant to most, data miners seem to have a hunch that hidden under this “minor” Pokemon GO update are some clues about a major event happening. One possibility, of course, is the anticipated Pokemon GO Easter Event as previously reported by the Inquisitr.

According to Heavy.com, data miners are players who sift through the code to find something of note the same way they managed to uncover hints for the Pokemon GO Buddy System from a similar “minor” update.

With that in mind, overly dedicated Pokemon GO players have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to “catching them all” to the point that it might cause some problems for Niantic legally. In fact, the legal implications of PoGO gamers’ excessive enthusiasm have already manifested through a lawsuit filed by homeowners from Florida, Michigan, and New Jersey.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the lawsuit against Niantic is a case involving “virtual trespassing” as hordes of Pokemon GO players go as far as entering private property without the necessary consent from the owners in their quest to “catch ’em all.”

This Pokemon GO update also cited by Breitbart reports how the group of homeowners in the three states mentioned before have collectively filed for negligence complaints for the misadventures of their players.

Aside from that, players of the mobile game that makes use of augmented reality filed a “virtual trespassing” lawsuit against Niantic, citing that the pocket monsters that players chase inside their private properties are breaking the law based on their argument cited by the Android Authority.

“The argument claims that the placement of Pokémon characters and Pokéstops is a form of trespassing, albeit virtual.”

On top of that, some homeowners also report invasion of privacy by persistent players who aim their smartphone cameras in the quest to locate an elusive Pokemon to unwitting private individual’s windows which may violate their right to privacy, the Pokemon GO update reports.

In response, Niantic wants the case immediately dismissed and said that the complaints are based on distortion of laws, emphasizing that “noise, vibrations, dust, or a chemical cloud” which are deemed “insufficient for trespass” by the law are more intrusive than the coordinates the developers use to place the pocket monsters in the area.

The Pokemon GO update on this case also notes how proceeding with such complaints might cause ripples in the technology industry as Niantic points out that other technological advancements such as GPS navigation systems and even bird watching apps “can attract visitors and impact nearby residents.”

On top of that, the Pokemon GO creator also said that the company “doesn’t control millions of players’ real-world movements,” an argument that can be contested considering that typical license agreements may not suffice when there is knowledge on the part of the developer that their game may cause people to break the law, Loyola Law School Professor John Nockleby explained.

Whether or not this will make Niantic’s life miserable, we have yet to find out as the federal judge assigned to the case haven’t decided on whether to let the lawsuit proceed as of the writing of this article.

What do you think of this article? Share with us your thoughts in the comments section below and stay tuned for more Pokemon GO updates.

[Featured Image by Olivia Harris/Getty Images]

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