A lawsuit against studio Niantic may require it to remove Pokéstops and gyms in Pokémon Go that are too close to residential areas. In a proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit filed in a California court, Niantic has to offer several settlement reliefs but will not have to pay any fines.
According to the 47 page settlement, Niantic will have to provide a form on its website so homeowners can complain if a POI infringes or encourages players to intrude on their single-family property. A single-family property is defined as a landed, detached home.
Niantic will also have to maintain a database of complaints for a minimum of one year from the date of the complaint to ensure that a new POI is not placed within 40m of the single-family property.
And its POI submission forms for players must remind them not to request a POI in a location that will inconvenience home owners.
A significant percent of POI submissions will also need to be manually reviewed by a Niantic employee.
Park owners, on the other hand, can request that a POI complies with the operating hours of their parks.
Under the proposed settlement, Niantic will have to resolve complaints within 15 days for 95% of cases each year.
In terms of gameplay, Raid battles that involve more than 10 players will have to issue a message to participants, reminding them to be mindful of others and their real-world surroundings.
The company will also be required to include a new warning in addition to the current “do not trespass while playing Pokémon Go” and “do not play Pokémon Go while driving”, which states “be courteous to members of real-world communities as you play Pokémon Go” or something similar.
The lawsuit started in late 2016 when the game first started becoming popular, with plaintiffs accusing Niantic of violating state trespass and nuisance laws by encouraging players to enter private properties to access virtual game locations.