The US Federal Trade Commission has been contacted more than 70 times by disgruntled Pokémon Go players over issues they’re having with the game. It’s not quite the same as the No Man’s Sky false advertising situation, but gamers are upset about overpriced items, have privacy complaints, or just want to talk to someone about why their account has been banned.
72 complaints have been filed with the FTC – 56 against Niantic directly, and 16 shared between Nintendo and the Pokémon Company. Polygon has gone through the paperwork.
The majority of those comlaints are to do with in-game items being “too expensive”, while other people have raised issues about security, privacy and children’s safety. Home and business owners have red-flagged Pokémon gyms on private property (including at least one hospital), gamers have griped about server downtime, and – believe it or not – some have even placed formal complaints following that one game update that blocked third-party Pokémon tracking apps, and banned accounts that were using them.
I had my account taken away from me without any warning or contact from Niantic. I have emailed them and sent in an appeal form against my ban. I would like to have all my money that I spent on their game refunded or my account returned to me so i can continue to play their game.
(That particular complaint came from someone who had reportedly spent more than $450 on the game before being banned for using third-party apps.)
When you consider how many million people have played Pokémon Go since the game launched in July, 72 complaints – even in one country – is a drop in the ocean. The vast (vast!) majority of players are obviously happy enough with the game to either keep playing or, y’know, stop without complaint. However, some of the issues raised are pertinent – “We ask that Nintendo NOT allow hospitals or clinics to listed as sites where anyone may locate a Pokemon target” – and, perhaps, Niantic / The Pokémon Company / Nintendo (and any other game developer working with smartphones) should pay a little attention.