Twitch announced today that they will be cracking down on Pokemon GO streamers who rely on third-party cheats. Streamers who play the game aided by software that tracks Pokemon or spoofs their GPS location will "receive a strike on their account". Three strikes results in a ban. Niantic defines cheating as "using modified or unofficial software; playing with multiple accounts (one account per player, please); sharing accounts; using tools or techniques to alter or falsify your location; or selling/trading accounts". Although some players exploit the game to gain an unfair advantage, others argue that flaws inherent to the game necessitate third-party fixes. Recently, for example, the so-called "three-step glitch" prevented players from tracking Pokemon, since all of the ones nearby were shown to be the same distance away.
Twitch has had a problem with Pokemon GO cheating since the game's release last July. Streamers would play the game on a PC, using software that spoofs their GPS so they can catch Pokemon from the comfort of their homes. This way, streamers could be active on their chat and easily film themselves playing. Bolder streamers gave live cheating tutorials on Twitch.
The Daily Dot reported that, even by late July, Twitch was slow to ban streamers using third-party software to exploit the game. Twitch's statement today comes out strongly cheating players, confirming that it's a widespread occurrence on the streaming platform:
The above behaviour is prohibited on Twitch by both our Rules of Conduct and Terms of Service. As of August 8th, anyone sharing content that features or promotes cheating in Pokemon GO will receive a strike on their account. We ask that broadcasters take appropriate steps to ensure that their content is not at risk.
Third-party software for Pokemon GO, some fans say, is the only thing that makes the game playable at all. Kotaku Deputy Editor Patricia Hernandez reported that, out of 80 million users, 50 million were using the tracking service Pokevision until it was shut down a few weeks ago, according to the app's developer. The software is now banned.
We'll see how many Pokemon GO streamers not-so-mysteriously disappear after today. If your favourite ones go black, check out streams like DeadpoolyPlays that are both legit and entertaining.