Pokemon Go Creator Niantic Banned More Than One Million Players In 2020

Niantic, the studio behind Pokemon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, announced recent efforts to prevent cheaters from infiltrating its games. The most shocking revelation is that more than 5 million punishments have been issued across the developer’s catalog, with 20% of those punishments being permanent bans.

That number is staggering – although it pales in comparison to the overall player count of both Pokemon Go and Wizards Unite. There is a bright spot in the report, however, as Niantic revealed more than 90% of users who receive a warning stop cheating without further intervention. The team said this statistic was “quite encouraging” and will help them in future efforts to “find the right balance between punishing casual cheaters versus the more egregious ones.”

Niantic is also working on new detection methods to improve its ability to catch cheaters in the future. “We have invested in new and emerging technologies, while continuing to grow our team, to improve our detection and enforcement capabilities,” reads Niantic’s report. “We’ll continue to act against those who violate our terms of service and we’ll be reinforcing our efforts in the coming weeks.”

The team then goes on to issue a few reminders, such as only using official versions of its games from Google Play, the Apple App Store, or Samsung Galaxy Store, and that the team does not support jailbroken or rooted devices.

Pokemon Go is without a doubt the biggest game in Niantic’s library, and the game has been plenty busy as of late. Battle League Season Seven is about to begin, and new Legendary Pokemon will start making an appearance in your neighborhood.

Just don’t cheat your way to a Legendary party– Niantic will probably catch you. “We are committed to ensuring fair gameplay across our game portfolio. Every day newer forms of cheating or spoofing tools are made available on the internet, and we are continuously working to combat these cheaters and focus on improving our detection and enforcement; as they have no place in our games.”

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Jon Bitner is an Associate Editor for TheGamer. His passion for gaming started with his first console (Sega Genesis) and he hasn’t stopped playing since. His favorite titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Team Fortress 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Old School Runescape, Skyrim, and Breath of the Wild. He can usually be found playing the latest RPG, FPS, or some obscure mobile game. Before working as Associate News Editor, Jon earned a Biology degree and worked in the Biotechnology sector — experiences that taught him how to put words together and make sentences. When not playing or writing about the gaming industry, he enjoys sleeping, eating, and staring at birds.

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