If you've ever done anything with your Pokemon Go account aside from actually playing the game, you might want to check your inbox. A ban wave has come crashing over the shores of Pokemon Go land and Niantic is sending out emails to users who have had their accounts terminated. This is what the email looks like, according to users on the Pokemon Go Reddit forum.
Even Firewatch programmer Ben Burbank felt the crush of the banhammer.
😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/ZZnBDrrLR7August 18, 2016
As you can see, affected users do have the option of appealing their ban. But if Niantic doesn't see things your way, that's it - your account will be permanently inaccessible.
Niantic isn't just targeting folks who used bots to send their trainers rocketing to the level cap. Players are reporting being banned for simply using third-party stat tracking and organization tools like PokeAdvisor (though there's no way to be sure those players didn't do any more shady stuff). In any case, if you've ever signed into an external app to track Pokemon or check your Individual Values, your account may be in jeopardy.
Using these tools is a clear violation of Pokemon Go's Terms of Service, but c'mon. Most people don't ever read those. Niantic should realize that even if folks do manage to parse all the legalese, they might not realize that doing something as seemingly innocuous as logging into a website to check the stats on their Pokemon is against the rules. Trying to save your Eevee candy to evolve the best possible Flareon is a far cry from botting your way to the top, is basically what I'm saying here.
Hopefully Niantic is forgiving in the appeals process for this first wave of bans. Once people have been warned and everyone has a better grip on the rules (and Pokemon Go has better in-game solutions for stuff like tracking), then the hammer can really come down.
Seen something newsworthy? Tell us!