The nature of the Federal Trade Commission complaints are varied; however, the majority of them mainly relate to money spent towards in-app purchases in the hit game made by Niantic, Inc. Many of these complaints were brought forward after the game began to suffer issues with server stability or after the ability to track Pokemon was removed from the game. One of the FTC complainants had spent almost $450 on in-app purchases before receiving a ban for using third-party applications to track Pokemon. This particular player is requesting that he either have the totality of his money refunded or his access to the game restored; he states that his account was banned without warning and that he has sent in an appeal.
Pokemon GO’s creators took issue with third party tracking tools after they initially disabled tracking. Niantic shut down several of the most popular tracking sites at the end of July. Despite Niantic being categorically against third-party tools, Poke Radar was sold for $500,000 in mid-September.
Other FTC complaints focus on issues that have kept the game in the news since its release. One complaint states that a Gym location outside of their home has brought an undue amount of visitors near their property which resulted in a panic attack from the resident. Another complaint is from a small hospital in Oregon that has concerns regarding players moving through the hospital playing the game as well as concerns about patient safety and privacy. Additional complaints cover topics such as the extensiveness of the game’s data collection and inattentive pedestrians who have had near misses.
Niantic isn’t bearing the brunt of these complaints alone; only 56 of the 72 complaints are directed at them specifically. The remaining complaints are split between Nintendo and The Pokemon Company. Despite the game’s many up and downs, Pokemon GO exceeded over 500 million downloads at the beginning of September.
What do you think of the player complaints to the Federal Trade Commission regarding Pokemon GO? Do you feel their complaints have merit? What action do you feel the FTC should or should not take in this case? Let us know in the comments below!More About This Game