Niantic has settled a class action lawsuit regarding their massively popular Pokémon Go. First filed in 2016 during the height of the mobile game’s popularity, the suit claimed the game encouraged players to do things that others considered a public nuisance, such as trespassing on private property or loitering in residential areas in large crowds. Earlier this year, lawyers working on the case proposed a settlement requiring Niantic to stop creating and remove pre-existing Gyms and Poké Stops near people’s homes, in addition to several other requirements. Niantic first agreed to the terms and conditions back in February, and a judge issued the final judgment on the case on August 30 based on an amended settlement agreement first proposed in April.
Under the agreement, Niantic has to comply with a number of requirements, most of which deal with handling complaints. They must open a form on their company’s website that will allow homeowners to request Gyms and Poké Stops be removed if they’re within 40 meters of their property. After receiving complains, Niantic will have 15 days to resolve them with a new system of reviewing complaints they must create. They will also implement changes in-game per the settlement, such as providing a pop-up message advising players to be “respectful of their real-world surroundings” when 10 or more players gather in one area, or listing the hours of operation for public parks on Poké Stops and Gyms, per parks’ requests.
The court documents don’t specify any amounts of monetary compensation from the suit, but Niantic is expected to pay for the plaintiffs’ legal fees. According to The Hollywood Reporter back in February, the plaintiffs sought $1000 each while the law firm sought “up to $8 million in attorney’s fees and $130,000 in expenses.”
This isn’t the first time Niantic has settled a class action lawsuit regarding Pokémon Go. After the disastrous first Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago in 2017, a handful of players filed a class action lawsuit against Niantic, pushing the company to not only reimburse each player’s $20 entrance fee, but their travel fees as well after settling the suit in 2018.