Nintendo Is Trying To Take Down 'Pirated' Copies Of Pokemon GO

Pokemon GO's staggered global release has meant that a lot of Android users have resorted to installing the game via APK file rather than wait for their local Google Play Store. Nintendo would rather you don't do that. Despite the game being free to download, and all copies connecting to the same in-game store regardless of where it came from, TorrentFreak reports that Nintendo has been quietly issuing takedown notices to Google all week, asking that search results displaying "pirated" copies be removed.

It's thumb-in-the-dyke stuff from the company, though, especially since APK Mirror — the safest, most trusted source of Android APK files — is still hosting copies of the game, on the grounds that it's a free download.

With no commercial gain to be had from stopping people playing the game, I'm guessing Nintendo is just trying to keep it in the hands of users in countries where Pokemon GO has been officially released. Maybe to cut back on stuff like the problems some Korean gamers are having right now.

Note: If you don't know what an APK is, it's "the package file format used by the Android operating system for distribution and installation of mobile apps and middleware". Basically, it's the app itself, bundled in a way that lets Android users share and install programs without the need for a centralised store like Google Play.


    They could beat this piracy by just hiding all the pokestops/gyms in all countries outside of Australia.

    That'd remove 90% of the content from the game and they'd be forced to GPS spoof, which I assume most people wouldn't want to do.

      We can throw our entire tourism budget behind it
      "Australia's got Pokemon, so where the bloody hell are you?"

        They probably go to the US, or wifi and mobile coverage/plans are infamously bad for tourists.

        It will be the death of economic immigration and the birth of poke-migration.

        "They took our poookerrrmoooonnnnzz..."

        Last edited 15/07/16 2:24 pm

          Now I can't wait for the inevitable Pokemon Go episode of South Park...

    I'm sorry but if I'm going to be isolated from playing the game due to my flagship phone that was only released 2 years ago only having 1.5gb RAM I will happily download the apk without a single shred of guilt what so ever.

    The fact the s4 mini can download it but my s5mini cant from the play store is pathetic eveb though they both have 1.5gb of RAM.

    Edit: Btw I do live in Australia

    Last edited 15/07/16 1:54 pm

    I can certainly see why Nintendo/Niantic would want to remove APK versions from the internet. A big part of the reasoning could fall into the install number bucket.
    Someone from the US installing the game via APK is unlikely to install the game upon official launch from the Play store. This muddies up the overall reporting of the games numbers. It inflates one region whilst dropping another. Metrics like this being accurate are not only useful from a support and rollout point of view, but can also be key when it comes to investors and ensuring the ongoing project (and new projects).

    The above could all very well be wrong, and Nintendo could be doing it just because they do that sort of thing sometimes. But clean install numbers can be a powerful metric. They could just be trying to ensure it's integrity.

      I would argue it's because they're still having server issues. They've likely got enough set up (Or thought they did!) for Aus and now the US. But if the rest of the world goes ape-shit nuts, they won't have the servers to handle it just yet. Makes it hard for them when they're trying to add more for release in other countries when they have to keep reallocating servers to already released areas because people keep playing early

    Fair enough really. They're likely doing it for reasons other than money though since they're only gaining cash by those people using it. First they're unlicensed versions of the game so could be seen as infringing on their trademark which most people know from how often that comes up is something they have to defend aggressively.
    It's also pretty unfair to others who live in those areas that wait for the official release, gives the "pirates" a head start.

    That said I'd hate to live in Canada with Pokemon Go available just across the border.

    is it piracy if its free? though i get why they do this, maybe release some server load

      Yes, it is. If it's not made available by the copyright holders, then downloading a copy not intended for your consumption makes it piracy. That's why I am a pirare- because of hulu. I paid for it, but use a VPN to gain access where I have no right to

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