The Netherlands Sues Pokemon GO Developer

By | 2 months ago 

Authorities from The Netherlands are taking Pokemon GO developer Niantic to court over damage being done by rowdy Pokemon GO players to protected dunes in Kijkduin.

It was only three months ago that Pokemon GO belatedly rolled out in Europe, but it didn’t take long for the insanely popular application to catch on in The Netherlands. Holland-based Pokemon GO players have kept quite active as the game cycled through multiple updates, but it turns out not everyone is happy with how developer Niantic has managed the global phenomenon.

Authorities from the the Hague are now taking Niantic to court over the damage being done by boisterous players to the beaches of Kijkduin, where concerns over protected dunes have been raised in regards to recent crowds of Pokemon GO players.

At first, officials attempted to contact Niantic directly to get the developers to tone down the Pokemon spawn rates. Authorities from the Hague didn’t want any beach-based Pokemon spawning between 11:00PM and 7:00AM, which seems reasonable for a protected area. While Niantic had responded to separate requests to remove Pokemon spawning from various memorials and museums, the studio gave the Netherlands the cold shoulder and failed to issue any response. After being ignored since mid-August, officials from the Hague are now forcing Niantic to take action via the courts of the law, stating that they ‘had no other choice’ in regards to getting the studio’s attention.

All in all, the comprise seems reasonable: authorities recognize that damage to the protected dunes is taking place, but just want Pokemon not to spawn overnight:

Kijkduin will remain an attractive place for Pokémon hunters, but there will be less trouble for the residents and the damage to protected areas will be limited.

A court date for the dispute is set for October 11, 2016, though we imagine Niantic will comply with the request now that lawyers are involved. Pokemon GO may be an insanely profitable application, but nobody likes going to court when it can be easily avoided.

The Dutch Government isn’t the first European entity to tackle Pokemon GO through the courts, either: the mayor of a small french town named Bressolles banned Pokemon GO from within town lines, though to our knowledge neither Niantic nor the town’s avid Pokemon trainers heeded his decree. More effective bans have been laid down in Iran, where the application is banned for the entire country.

Whether it’s school security concerns or actual shootouts, a location-based application like Pokemon GO was always going to jump head first into controversy with so many people playing the game. Intentional or not, plenty of damage has been caused by hordes of enthusiastic players due to the dangers a GPS-based application brings with it. We’ll keep you posted as the case proceeds in court.

Pokemon GO is currently available on iOS and Android devices.

Source: The Guardian