The end of the Pokemon Go bots is near. The Pokemon Company has hired lawyers to go against the unauthorized access enabled by reverse engineered APIs.
We have reported early on about the Pokemon Go API developments and the resulting rise of Pokemon Go bots that automate game play in Pokemon Go. We have anticipated that Niantic would act in some form to stop trainers using unauthorized software to access the Pokemon Go servers.
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The developer of the most popular Pokemon Go API has shared on reddit a cease and desist letter from The Pokemon Company. It is not Niantic going after the unofficial Pokemon Go developers it is The Pokemon Company. This is interesting and unexpected, but makes sense. Niantic is a startup and has not the experience dealing with legal issues.
The Pokemon Company is dealing with protecting its IP for decades.
Developer Mila432 says "it was a funny time!" in this reddit thread. Sounds like he will quit. His code is though out there on Github and tons of developers adopted it to build Pokemon trackers and Pokemon bots.
If legal threats will stop Pokemon Go trackers and bots remains to be seen. The move will make though developers very uncomfortable.
The popularity of Pokemon Go is unbroken. Over 75 million have downloaded the augmented reality game world-wide. Bots are cheats and threaten the gaming experience for everyone playing. The real-time tracker apps using the Pokemon Go APIs are helpful, but they are not authorized to provide that service.
Once the Niantic changes something that breaks the current Pokemon Go APIs and no developer is maintaining them, all Pokemon apps stop working that rely on the unauthorized access. Niantic could release an official API, like they have on Ingress to create an eco-system of tools and apps for trainers. That would be the right way to go.
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What how much fun George Takei has playing Pokemon Go for the first time.