Pokémon Go creator Niantic has published a blog post detailing some of its anti-cheat efforts, and it seems the company has been busy. Since the start of 2020, Niantic has issued over 5 million “punishments” to players caught cheating, with over 20 percent of those being permabans. Doing the math, that’s over a million people who have gotten the boot in just over a year. This includes bans from Pokémon Go, Ingress, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
The post did contain some encouraging news about the player base: apparently over 90 percent of people stopped cheating after they received their first warning. That’s a wonderful thing to hear, because it’s relatable; I also like to live just on the edge until someone tells me to knock it off.
While it looks like 2020 was a bad year for people trying to cheat at Pokémon Go, it was also rough for Niantic, as it tried to figure out how to adapt its games, which are all based on going outside and walking around, to a locked-down world. The developer had to make adjustments, not just to its anti-cheat software, but to the mechanics of the games as well.