Pokemon Go Eggs Hurting Religious Sentiments’, PIL Filed

Pokemon Go Eggs Hurting Religious Sentiments', PIL Filed

Pokemon Go Eggs Hurting Religious Sentiments’, PIL Filed
A PIL has been filed in the Gujarat High Court against developers of the location-based augmented reality game Pokemon Go, alleging it hurts religious sentiments of certain communities by showing eggs in places of worship.

Filed by Alay Anil Dave, the PIL is likely to be heard on Wednesday by a division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi.

(Also see: Pokemon Go: Russian Blogger Faces 5-Year Jail Term for Playing in Church)

As per the plea, among other things, the image of eggs shown in the augmented reality game appear in places of worship of different religious groups.

The petitioner has said eggs are considered as non-vegetarian food, and it is blasphemous to carry non-vegetarian food inside a place of worship of Hindus and Jains.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Fever Is Fading in the US: Report)
“People playing the game get their points in the form of eggs which generally appear in the places of worship of different religious groups. To find eggs in temples of Hindus and Jains is blasphemous, and therefore my client has sought ban on the game from the country,” petitioner’s lawyer Nachiket Dave said.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Spurs Lifestyle Changes, Business Boom as It Rolls Out in Asia)

Among other points raised against the game are that it infringes upon the privacy, and it poses threat of life and limbs to the players, who have to walk around to score a point.

San Francisco-based developer of the game, Niantic, Inc., and Central and state governments have been made the respondents.

Tags: Pokemon Go, Pokemon, Apps, Gaming, Nintendo, Niantic, India


Pokemon Go Bug Reportedly Affecting GPS Performance on Android Phones

Pokemon Go Bug Reportedly Affecting GPS Performance on Android Phones

Pokemon Go Bug Reportedly Affecting GPS Performance on Android Phones
Game supposedly disrupts GPS even when running in background
Issue was spotted on the dated Nexus 5 smartphone
Reddit user says couldn’t find similar issue on newer devices
Pokemon Go created tremendous amount of interest and excitement at its launch and the game is one of the most talked about things of the year already. However, that popularity has begun waning. Now a Redditor has suggested that a bug associated with the game reportedly distorts the accuracy of your smartphone’s GPS.

A Reddit user who goes by the name ‘Cameocoder’ has said that a bug associated with Pokemon Go distorts the accuracy of your Android smartphone’s GPS and even prevents other apps from accurately gathering the location when the game in running in background.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Fever Is Fading in the US: Report)

Cameocoder was able to find out the issue with the game while using fitness tracking app Map My Run. “On the first walk without Pokémon Go my device was able to lock on to GPS satellites and track my location fairly accurately. The second walk, which was immediately after the first, I had Pokémon Go in the foreground and my device almost never acquired a GPS lock,” the user said in the Reddit post.

However, it should be noted that the user was using a Nexus 5 smartphone when he discovered the bug, and did not find the same issue on newer devices. It is not yet know if a similar bug is affecting the iOS version of the game.
(Also see: Pokemon Go Eggs Hurting Religious Sentiments’, PIL Filed)

Considering the issues regarding the game, it will be interesting to see how the development of the game moves forward as it is yet to be officially released in many countries including India.

Are you facing a similar GPS bug on your Android smartphone once Pokemon Go is running? What about your iPhone? Let us know in the comments section below.

Tags: Pokemon GO GPS Bug, Pokemon Go, Gaming, Android


Pokemon Go Out in 15 Countries Across Asia and Oceania; India Release Date Soon?

Pokemon Go Out in 15 Countries Across Asia and Oceania; India Release Date Soon?


  • Pokemon Go is now available in 15 countries across Asia and Oceania
  • The news comes via the official Pokemon Go Facebook page
  • With third-party services disabled, expect an India launch soon

Following the release of Pokemon Go in Brazil and Japan, now 15 more countries can now catch Pokemon officially.

“Trainers in 15 new countries and regions across Asia and Oceania can now officially download Pokemon Go from the Play Store or App Store. Discover Pokemon in the world around you,” a post on the official Pokemon Go Facebook page reads.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Player? Here’s How Much Mobile Data You Can Expect to Burn)

These countries include: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau.


Last week, Pokemon Go developer Niantic revealed the reason for the game’s delayed launch in countries such as India. “We have limited access by third-party services which were interfering with our ability to maintain quality of service for our users and to bring Pokemon Go to users around the world. The large number of users has made the roll-out of Pokemon Go around the world an… interesting… challenge,” admits the company, reiterating its desire to bring the game to other nations.

(Also see: How to Download Pokemon Go APK, Install, and Play on Android)

Most of these third-party services such as Pokevision are now unusable after the latest Pokemon Go update. Plus, there’s the added side-effect of being unable to catch Pokemon while commuting or on a bike. It’s just a matter of time before the likes of China and India receive Pokemon Go as developer Niantic has cleared what it deemed were impediments to a release of the game in every country officially. Not like the absence of an official release has stopped eager fans from playing it as we’ve seen in the past few weeks.

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Tags: Niantic, Pokemon Go, Pokemon Go Asia Release Date, Pokemon Go India Launch, Pokemon Go India Release Date,Pokemon Go Release Date, Pokemon Go Update, Pokemon Go iPhone, Pokevision, The Pokemon Company



Pokemon No-Go: New Jersey Resident Sues Over Trespassing Players

Pokemon No-Go: New Jersey Resident Sues Over Trespassing Players

A New Jersey man has a message for the millions of players obsessed with the mobile game Pokemon Go: “Get off my lawn!”

Jeffrey Marder of West Orange has filed a federal class action against the companies behind the game,Nintendo Co Ltd, Niantic Inc and Pokemon Company International, claiming it has brought unwanted trespassers to his house and countless other private properties.

Using mobile devices, players search for and capture virtual characters that appear on their screens in real-life locations such as offices and restaurants.

(Also see: Pokemon Go iOS: How to Download Pokemon Go for iPhone, iPad)


The immensely popular game has prompted numerous safety concerns and complaints. Within days of its launch, four Missouri teenagers used it to lure unsuspecting victims into armed robberies, according to police; the game was blamed for an illegal border crossing from Canada into the United States last month by two young players who lost track of their surroundings.

The US Holocaust Museum asked players not to use the game on its premises, calling it “extremely inappropriate.”

(Also see: How to Download Pokemon Go APK, Install, and Play on Android)

Some places have been designated by the game’s designers as “Pokestops” and “gyms,” where players can earn valuable items or engage other users in battles.

Many of those sites are either on or adjacent to private property, according to Marder’s lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Oakland, California, near the San Francisco headquarters of Niantic.

“Plaintiff discovered as much when, during the week of Pokemon Go’s release, strangers began lingering outside of his home with their phones in hand,” the lawsuit said, adding that five people knocked on Marder’s door seeking access to his backyard to capture creatures in his yard.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status for all people who own property that is either designated as a Pokemon site or is adjacent to such a location, appears to be the first of its kind since the game launched in July.

Representatives for Pokemon Go did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nintendo holds a 32 percent stake in Pokemon Company, which developed the game jointly with Niantic.

The game has increased Nintendo’s market value by 50 percent since its debut.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Apps, Gaming, Niantic, Nintendo, Pokemon, Pokemon Go



Pokemon Go Launched in Brazil Ahead of Rio 2016 Olympics

Pokemon Go Launched in Brazil Ahead of Rio 2016 Olympics

Creators of Pokemon Go on Wednesday said the blockbuster mobile game has been released in Brazil just in time for the Rio Olympics which start on Friday.

A spokesman for the game’s publisher Niantic confirmed in an email that “the app is currently rolling out across all of Central and South America.”

Earlier in the day, the official Twitter account for Pokemon Go tweeted that it was working hard to launch the game in South America’s largest nation and told fans to “stay tuned.”

Before the game was widely available in the country, some athletes had already been playing it and racked up hefty phone charges. Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura landed a nearly $5,000 phone bill in Rio after he was persuaded by his teammates to download the game shortly after touching down in Brazil for a pre-Games training camp last week.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Update Resets Game Progress, Some Users Complain)


Some in Brazil have questioned how Pokemon Go players will stay safe. Robbers in other countries have targeted distracted mobile phone players, and Brazil’s steepest economic recession since the 1930s has been stoking crime and straining public finances. There have been threats of police strikes on the eve of the games.

In the United States, some players have been drawn down dark alleys and into dangerous neighbourhoods in search of the imaginary creatures, only to be targeted by criminals. Players have also been involved in car accidents.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Advanced Tips and Tricks)

The game can work anywhere in the world using GPS but it was officially unavailable for download by local users in Brazil until Wednesday.

Earlier, athletes who arrived at the Olympic village expressed disappointment about the game not being widely available.

US diver Abby Johnston tweeted July 26 that the worst thing about the Olympic village was she could not play the game.

Players use their mobile devices to search various real-life locations in hopes of finding and capturing virtual Pokemon characters such as cuddly yellow Pikachu.

The game marries a classic 20-year-old Nintendo franchise with augmented reality and has surged on Apple Inc’s app charts since its release last month. It is on its way to becoming the first mobile game to break the $4 billion-per-year barrier, beating Candy Crush Saga. Japan’s Nintendo Co Ltd owns 32 percent of the Pokemon Company, which holds Pokemon’s intellectual property.

There will be around 10,500 athletes competing in the Olympics from August 5 to August 21 in Rio, plus 5,000 coaches and team officials.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Apps, Brazil, Gaming, Olympics, Pokemon, Pokemon Go, Rio Olympics


Pokemon Go to Feature Advertising Above and Beyond Sponsored Locations

Pokemon Go to Feature Advertising Above and Beyond Sponsored Locations


  • Pokemon Go will feature sponsored items
  • Sponsored items along with sponsored locations will be in-game
  • The news comes via one of Niantic’s investors

Pokemon Go may not have rolled out the world over but that hasn’t stopped developer Niantic from pursuing advertising opportunities for the game.

While McDonald’s will eventually feature as a sponsored location if the presence of its logo in an APK dump of the game is to be believed, it appears that Niantic will go beyond that.

(Also see: How to Play Pokemon Go in India? Here’s Everything You Need to Know)

According to one of the company’s investors, sponsored items are in the works. This would work similar to how Niantic featured virtual shields branded by insurance company AXA in Ingress or pharmacy chain Duane Reade offering Ingress items to players at its locations.

“You will absolutely be seeing that and you will be seeing it done in a way that adds value to the game rather than detracts,” said David Jones to Quartz, whose firm You & Mr Jones became Niantic shareholders in February. Jones was the chief executive of advertising agency Havas and his contacts with top brands is why Niantic sought his firm out to invest.

(Also see: How to Download Pokemon Go APK, Install, and Play on Android)


“I can’t wait to see the potential with Pokémon Go where going to a pharmacy will heal your Pokémon, or going to a fast-food chain will get you berries to feed them,” Jones said, recalling examples Mathieu de Fayet, Niantic’s vice president of strategic partnerships gave at the Vivatech conference in Paris two weeks prior.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Is Responsible for These Real Life Weird and Scary Things)

Sponsored items aren’t exactly new. Other game developers such as Rovio have done so with games like Angry Birds Go. It’s a frictionless way for developers create a potential revenue stream while allowing players an experience that isn’t jarring as pop-ups or banner ads that some games employ.

Tags: in game advertising, Ingress, Niantic, Pokemon Go, Pokemon Go ads, The Pokemon Company



In China, Fears That Pokemon Go May Aid Locating Military Bases

In China, Fears That Pokemon Go May Aid Locating Military Bases

Not everyone loves Pokemon Go, the mobile game that has become an instant hit around the world since a limited release just a week ago.

The augmented reality game, in which players walk around real-life neighbourhoods to hunt and catch virtual cartoon characters on their smartphone screens, has been blamed in the United States for several robberies of distracted mobile phone users and car crashes.

A US senator has asked the developers of the game to clarify its data privacy protections.

And although the game is not available in China, the world’s biggest smartphone and online gaming market, some people there fear it could become a Trojan horse for offensive action by the United States and Japan.

“Don’t play Pokemon GO!!!” said user Pitaorenzhe on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. “It’s so the US and Japan can explore China’s secret bases!”

The conspiracy theory is that Japan’s Nintendo Co Ltd, which part owns the Pokemon franchise, and America’s Google can work out where Chinese military bases are by seeing where users can’t go to capture Pokemon characters.


The game relies on Google services such as Maps.

The theory is that if Nintendo places rare Pokemon in areas where they see players aren’t going, and nobody attempts to capture the creature, it can be deduced that the location has restricted access and could be a military zone.

“Then, when war breaks out, Japan and the US can easily target their guided missiles, and China will have been destroyed by the invasion of a Japanese-American game,” said a social media post circulated on Weibo.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he was unaware of reports that the game could be a security risk and that he didn’t have time to play with such things. He gave no further details.

Other government ministries did not respond to faxed questions about the game.

Undeterred fans
But the calls for a boycott, and the fact that Pokemon Go hasn’t even been released in China, have not deterred fans.

“I really looked forward to playing the Pokemon artificial reality game since they first announced it. I really liked Pokemon as a kid,” said Gan Tian, a 22-year-old student at Tsinghua University. She plays an unofficial version with an artificial map based on countries where the game is available.

But for many others in the country, playing is proving a challenge. Not only is the game not on Chinese app stores, but Google services are blocked in China.

Nintendo has given no indication as to when or whether Pokemon Go will be released in China.

Niantic, the lab that developed the game, declined to comment on Friday on an eventual launch. Chief executive John Hanke said in an interview that it would be technically possible to launch in China, but noted a host of complex rules and restrictions.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Android, Apps, China, Gaming, Google, Niantic, Pokemon, Pokemon Go



Pokemon Go to Launch in Roughly 200 Markets ‘Relatively Soon’

Pokemon Go to Launch in Roughly 200 Markets 'Relatively Soon'


  • Nintendo’s Pokemon Go was launched on Wednesday last week
  • It is currently available in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, US, Germany & UK
  • Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm since its launch

The head of the developer behind Nintendo Co Ltd’s Pokemon Go said he wanted to launch the smash-hit mobile game in roughly 200 countries and regions “relatively soon” and was working on bolstering server capacity to enable the wider rollout.

The game, which marries a classic 20-year old franchise with augmented reality, has taken the world by storm despite having been launched in only five countries – the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Germany.

“Why limit it?” John Hanke, chief executive of Niantic, which developed Pokemon Go jointly with Nintendo affiliate Pokemon Company, said in an interview with Reuters on Friday.

(Also see:  How to Play Pokemon Go in India? Here’s Everything You Need to Know)

He declined to go into a detailed timeframe for further rollouts but noted that the company’s first location-based augmented reality game Ingress had taken a month or two to reach that number of markets.


(Also see:  Pokemon Go Now Available to Download in UK, Germany – When is India?)

His comments helped Nintendo shares on Friday surge another 10 percent, setting a record in daily trading volume for an individual stock on the Tokyo bourse. The shares have climbed 86 percent in just over a week, adding $17 billion (roughly Rs. 1,14,028 crores) in market value.

He confirmed that the game would soon be coming to Japan and that he expects “ultimately to launch” the game in South Korea, where Google’s mapping functions are restricted due to security issues with North Korea.

Hanke said Niantic, which was spun off from Google last year, is working on the mapping issue. “There are solutions to that,” he said.

South Korea is the world’s fourth-biggest gaming market after China, the United States and Japan, according to Amsterdam-based research firm Newzoo.

But he was more reticent about prospects for a launch in China, saying only that there are regulations that have to be considered.

Hanke said the company is considering introducing a sponsorship scheme similar to one it has with Ingress, which designates sponsors’ stores and vending machines as spots in the game.

Sponsors pay per customer visit, providing a revenue stream in addition to in-app purchases. Niantic currently has eight corporate sponsors for Ingress globally, including SoftBank Group Corp, and the number is likely to be similar for Pokemon Go, he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Android, Apps, Gaming, Internet, Nintendo, Pokemon, Pokemon Go, US



Pokemon Go Players Walk Dogs as They Hunt Digital Monsters

Pokemon Go Players Walk Dogs as They Hunt Digital Monsters

An animal shelter is asking Pokemon Go players to walk an adoptable dog as they wander the streets of an eastern Indiana city doing battle with digital monsters on their smartphones.

The idea is the brainchild of Phil Peckinpaugh, superintendent of Muncie Animal Shelter. He noticed people shuffling along as they played the addictive game and thought “it would be awesome” if they each had a dog to walk.

Peckinpaugh posted the idea on Facebook, asking: “Trying to Hatch an Egg or Catch Rare Pokemon? Come down to the Muncie Animal Shelter to walk one of our dogs while you get your steps in! Just come to the front desk and say you are here for the Pokemon dogs!” His post was widely shared.

(Also see: How to Download, Install, and Play Pokemon Go Right Now)


“This is a great way to get more volunteers in and helping them (the dogs) get the exercise that they need,” said Adrienne West, who drove 45 minutes from Upland to walk a 3-year-old pit bull named Maya as she tried to catch a weedle – a larva Pokemon character.

Peckinpaugh says he bought 20 new leashes to cope with the increase in demand, which is fortunate because 73 “Pokemon Go” players heeded the call Wednesday and turned up to exercise hounds, including one who adopted a dog.

“I hope this Pokemon Go isn’t something that lasts a couple weeks,” he said. “I hope the shelter becomes a hotspot.”

Tags: Android, Apple, Apps, Gaming, iOS, Niantic, Nintendo, Pokemon, Pokemon Go



Pokemon Go to Get Sponsored Locations Soon

Pokemon Go to Get Sponsored Locations Soon

What do you do when you have a viral game that encourages players to walk around streets and parks? Sell ads, of course.

The developer of Pokémon Go said it will soon accept sponsored partnerships to make certain locations appear more prominently in the mobile game that has taken the country by storm.

The move to make even more money off this juggernaut makes sense given just how popular the game has become. Since its July 6 launch, it has become the biggest mobile game in history. It now has more daily users than Twitter, and people are spending more time on it than on Facebook. And the Wall Street Journal reported that advertising companies have been reaching out to Niantic to figure out how to get their clients in on the game.

Until the official partnerships start, some businesses that are already PokéStops – places in the game where players can find Pokémon and in-game items – have taken it upon themselves to do a little unofficial promotion. Players in the game can buy an item called a “lure,” which increases the number of cartoon monsters that appear in the game – critters that players have to physically track down to level up in the app. Lures last 30 minutes. For about $10, you can buy enough lures to keep people coming to your store for four hours.


(Also see:  Pokemon Go’s Huge Success Makes Me Fear, Not Cheer, the Future of Gaming)

A pizzeria in Brooklyn used this tactic to draw in more customers and saw business jump by 75 percent, according to the New York Post. Washington’s Politics and Prose bookshop put down lures to draw players Tuesday evening, said Jon Purves, the store’s director of marketing and publicity. The store itself is a gym – a place in the game where players can battle for dominance – and a mural on the store’s wall is also a dedicated PokéStop.

“It certainly did bring people by,” Purves said. “All throughout the evening we were seeing lots of kids coming along, and lots of adults as well hang out on the mural.” He said that, overall, the store spent about $5 to draw people in for the evening and that the store was happy with the return on its investment. Other nearby businesses, such as Comet Ping Pong, also benefited from the lure.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Cheatsheet: 10 Things to Know About the Game That Has Everyone Hooked)

“We might be talking to them about shared lure opportunities” in the future, Purves said.

Catherine Kruta found out that her family’s bakery in Collinsville, Ill., was a PokéStop when she downloaded the game and started playing for herself.

Kruta Bakery started making Poké Ball cookies to cater to the extra customers coming to the shop. The bakery made four dozen on the first day and sold them all within three hours – very unusual, Kruta said, for decorated cookies. The next day, they made 10 dozen and sold out again. On Thursday, Kruta was just finishing up a batch of 30 dozen.

The bakery has seen a pretty good uptick in sales, she said. “On the first day, we sold out of almost everything by the end of the day. That’s unusual for a Tuesday.”

Not everyone is happy with the increased activity the game has caused. But the prospect of drawing even a part of the droves of players currently roaming the streets looking for the cartoon creatures has obvious appeal for businesses.

Niantic, the developer behind Pokémon Go, has tried this trick before with its other major gaming hit, Ingress. In the past Jamba Juice and Zipcar have both paid the developer to make their locations key spots in that game’s augmented reality map.

Niantic did not respond to a request for comment on how sponsorships in Pokémon Go will work.

(Also see: Pokemon Go to Launch in Roughly 200 Markets ‘Relatively Soon’)

It’s hard to say exactly how much businesses would make from such an agreement, but given the popularity of the game, it could certainly drive a lot of foot traffic to stores that embrace the game. That’s crucial, particularly at a time when foot traffic to stores is on the decline – a recent study from RetailNext found that traffic to stores in June was down 8.9 percent from the same month last year.

Certain types of businesses may benefit more from increased customer traffic than others, said Georgetown University professor Betsy Page Sigman.

“You probably don’t want to do it if you’re clothing shop – you don’t want too many people going through your stock and handling things. The ideal thing would be an inexpensive food or candy shop,” she said. “Even if you get 1 percent to buy something, you’d get a huge jump in your revenue.”

For players, this means there will be more places to collect items and Pokémon. But it’s also key to remember that promotional agreements can expire – Ingress players found that out when all of the Jamba Juice portals in that game disappeared at the same time.

Ingress has also tried other tie-ins, which it may use as a template for other promotions. For example, it worked with Vodafone in Germany to develop a special plan just for the data-heavy game. That’s a clear example of how a company can benefit from embracing the culture of the game audience they’re trying to reach. Businesses looking into capitalizing on Pokémon Go have plenty to draw from to signal they’re in the know – they could hand out gym badges, cater to the in-game factions, or host events for players to swap tips and go hunting together.

(Also see:  Meet India’s Pokemon Go Players Who Gotta Catch ‘Em All)

For example, CHAR Pizzeria in Peoria, Ariz., has a special promotion that gives uses a free pizza if they take over its gym using any of the Pokémon with “Char” at the start of their names – Charizard, Charmeleon or Charmander.

In many cases, businesses are figuring out how to tap into the craze by asking their own employees who happen to be playing the game. Ashley LeFevre, a cashier at Peters’ Bakery, said that another employee has been spearheading its efforts to draw in the Pokémon crowd – and has been the one defending the bakery’s gym for her own favorite faction in the game, Team Instinct.

Even if you don’t have a storefront, there are still ways that Pokémon Go can help you financially. TaskRabbit, the gig economy darling that allows people to hire others for small tasks, has officially said it will help people find Pokémon.

Presumably, that means being comfortable enough with whomever you hire to give them access to your account, so they can catch in your name – and get all the benefits of exercise and social interaction for you as well.

Some might say that misses the point of the game. But, hey, to each their own.

© 2016 The Washington Post

Tags: Android, Apps, Gaming, Internet, Niantic, Nintendo, Pokemon, Pokemon Go, US