Since the launch of Pokemon Go, there’s been a deluge of stories about over-eager trainers catching creatures in places they really shouldn’t be. Private property, prisons, and even minefields — if a place exists, somebody has tried to catch a Rattata there. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that it can be very hard to get a PokeStop, gym or spawning area removed from the map. You can try to appeal to Pokemon Go developer Niantic, but there’s a good chance you’ll be ignored or lost in the shuffle.
Well, it seems some annoyed citizens are starting to fight back. Recently an entire Australian neighborhood got themselves removed from the game, and now a New Jersey man is suing Nintendo, The Pokemon Company and Niantic in order to get those dang “Pokemans” off his property. According to Jeffrey Marder, his home has become something of a hotspot for Pokemon Go players, and he’s not taking the intrusion as well as others. Here’s Marder’s specific complaint, from his suit:
“At least five individuals knocked on plaintiff’s door and asked for access to plaintiff’s backyard in order to catch Pokemon that the game had placed in Plaintiff’s residence in West Orange, New Jersey, without plaintiff’s permission. Niantic has encouraged Pokémon Go’s millions of players to make unwanted incursions onto the properties of Plaintiff — a clear and ongoing invasion of their use and enjoyment of their land from which Defendants have profited and continue to profit.”
Basically, Marder accuses Niantic of making money by encouraging players to trespass on private property. (Honestly, the guy isn’t without a case.) He’s also trying to turn the lawsuit into a class action suit, thereby encouraging other people who have had their property overrun to join. Ruh oh.
After a few weeks of incredible success, there have been some recent signs that the Pokemon Go phenomenon may be faltering. Many players aren’t happy about a recent “update” that removed a number of features, and this lawsuit could have a chilling effect on how Pokemon Go functions if successful. Will the game overcome its recent issues? Probably, but the next few weeks or months will be the real test for Pokemon Go‘s masters.