Nintendo is sending takedown requests to gamers who have been playing the pirated version of the Pokémon Go game, in an attempt to clamp down on piracy. Niantic's location-based augmented reality mobile game has created a worldwide sensation since its rollout on 6 July, despite the fact that it is not available in most countries. So far it is available only in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and recently in the UK.
The game is available for download officially from the Google Play Store for Android users and the Apple App Store for iOS users in the aforementioned countries. However, that does not mean it cannot be played in other countries. The pirated version of the app has been downloaded by millions, and there are several unauthorised Pokémon Go files and guides explaining how to install the game all over the web.
The APK files, which are not the official Android versions, are widely shared on torrent websites. It is the most shared Android game at The Pirate Bay.
Nintendo, which is one of the stakeholders of Pokémon Company, is now taking action to reduce piracy. TorrentFreak claims to have spotted several takedown requests by Nintendo sent to Google Blogspot as well as Searches. The takedown notices contain various links to the pirated copies of the game.
It has barely had any impact on curbing piracy and unauthorised files of the app continue to be shared on torrent sites; apkmirror.com still has copies online.
According to data shared by Similarweb, the game is a massive hit. As of 11 July, about 10.8% of all Android devices in the US had installed the app, 15.1% in Australia and in 16% New Zealand. apkmirror.com, which provides access to the Pokémon Go app, had more than four million daily visitors on both 6 and 11 July.