Pokemon Go: Corporate espionage, bots, and Uranium

Bah, it was just a bird.

There are a lot of unofficial Pokemon games out there on the internet, including MMOs, games that filled the gap Nintendo left. One such fan-made, non-profit title was called Pokemon Uranium. In development for nine years, it launched on August 6th… and has already closed down, or at least will stop distributing copies officially. In spite of seeing 1.5M downloads since launch, the developers wrote that they wanted to respect Nintendo’s wishes (though they hadn’t received any legal notices themselves). The game, however, is still functional for those who have copies, and it’ll keep on getting updates too.

Here’s what else happened in Pokemon Go over the weekend:

  • Volkswagen joins the roster of companies sending around internal memos to employees warning them not to play Pokemon Go — indeed, to strip it from their phones — lest they unwittingly engage in corporate espionage via location tracking, camera activation, and data sharing.
  • If you think bots cheapen the fun of Pokemon Go, cheer a little cheer: Polygon reports that in the wake of Niantic’s new FAQ, which states that players using bots or location spoofers will be banned, many of the larger bots are shutting themselves down voluntarily, even before a takedown notice has been received.

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