As one of the most popular and profitable mobile games, Pokemon Go has also attracted it's fair share of cheaters. Since it's release two years ago, a cottage industry of hacks and add-ons has remained a consistent problem, much to the dismay of honest players. This past week saw the arrest of a Japanese man selling modified Pokemon Go Plus' bracelets, enabling users to automatically collect special items at PokéStops without the need of being near their location.
In an effort to curtail this nefarious behavior while maintaining it's sizable player base, Niantic has announced a new preventative strategy. Dubbed the "Three-Strike Discipline Policy" caught cheaters will see an escalating series of consequences before receiving a permanent ban. Though some behavior will result an immediate ban regardless of prior record. Niantic did not detail what these actions would be.
Maintaining the previously established terms of service, users who spoof their GPS location or modify their account and Pokemon Go client using unlicensed software will cause a strike. First offenses will automatically remove EX Raid Passes and rare Pokemon from appearing in the wild for a week. A second strike will disable the user's account for 30 days. And a third strike will result in a permanent ban from Pokemon Go.
Niantic describes this new system is meant to "enable offenders to learn from their mistakes and change their ways" Encouraging former cheaters to play the game in it's unaltered form. The blog post did not mention if users could remove a strike after a period of good behavior.
Pokemon Go remains a financial juggernaut in mobile games. Earlier this month it was revealed to have made $1.8 billion of revenue since it's debut in 2016.