'Pokemon GO' Banning Disabled Players? Niantic Faces Heavy Scrutiny Amid Public Outcry

Sep 06, 2016 05:30 AM EDT | Jomar Teves

Motherboard reports that Niantic, the company in charge of developing and maintaining "Pokemon GO," has recently incited public outcry by allegedly banning physically disabled users from playing their game.

Ban Related to Cheating?

Those who are updated with "Pokemon GO"-related news may already know that Niantic is fully against anything that could be viewed as cheating in the game, despite fans stating that the augmented reality app doesn't generally have any kind of competitive features.

At the start of July, Niantic got on to the fact that some users had hacked their "Pokemon GO" accounts to move around remotely. In other words, they wired up the game to move their characters in certain directions when certain buttons were pressed, like a video game, rather than moving around when the device itself was moved in the real world.

Niantic's Pursuit of 'Pokemon GO' Cheaters

Naturally, Niantic recognized that numerous "Pokemon GO" players were able to go outside and stroll around but some are too lethargic or time-strapped to play the game properly. Some of the latter were the ones who were found to be using hacks, and the developer responded by issuing permanent bans to anyone caught using third-party apps. 

Niantic's campaign was without a doubt compelling in most cases, removing many players who were caught using the cunning technique to spare time. Unfortunately, not everyone using the "Pokemon GO" hack was doing so out of laziness or malice.

Disabled Players Banned

A number of players using bots and third-party trackers were actually doing it because they have to. To be specific, some players could not physically get out there and "Catch 'Em All" simply because their bodies are unable to take the rigors of walking outside. 

It is astounding how rapidly "Pokemon GO" is tumbling from the front line of popular culture because of Niantic's incompetence in maintaining the game and its seeming refusal to listen to the "Pokemon GO" fan base. This most recent controversy, which some see as an unforgivable insult, is unquestionably not doing any wonders for Niantic's PR. 

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