Pokemon Go, currently one of the biggest releases on the Nintendo Wii, has caused a lot of buzz and debate since its release. The game uses a map-based system in which you travel around different areas of the world to locate and capture virtual creatures like Pokemon. Players are encouraged to go out and seek out new Pokemon in every area they enter. It is simple, but many people (including me) are wondering why is Pokemon Go banned in China?
Pokemon Go utilizes an application called “Ingress,” which allows for real-time Pokemon Go swag from the mobile game to be added into real-life locations. Invented by Niantic, the company that makes the augmented reality game Pokemon Go, Ingress was designed to allow long-time Pokemon users to interact with the outside world using their smartphones. Users can easily transfer their Pokemon via their respective smartphones to the Ingress mobile game and immediately start to battle other trainers in real life. The system is completely free to download and is quickly becoming popular in North America, Australia, Europe, and Japan where it already has more than 500 million monthly active users.
So why is Pokemon Go being banned in China? The short answer is that many people are trying to download the Pokemon Go application onto their smartphones, which is a violation of Google’s terms of service. There are several reports that state that several individuals have been detained for “harming the reputation of the game.” This is especially true in South Korea, where the game has been a hot Christmas gift for children this year. Many people have also reported receiving death threats and messages regarding how they will die or be branded as a criminal because of Pokemon Go.
What’s going on here? Obviously, many people are playing Pokemon Go without realizing that it contains in-app purchases that allow them to purchase items from within the game. These in-app purchases are allowed by the Game Services Agreement guidelines which was signed by Google and included some pretty vague language. Basically, they stated that you can only purchase things within the app if it’s allowed in your app. It seems as though Google has never done any type of in-app purchases before, so the company is in total ignorance as to how this will affect their rankings. This may explain why Google has been banning apps all over the world from the App store.
This doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t have the right to ban Pokemon Go if they find out that people are purchasing items within the game without their knowledge. This just means that they need to be more careful in what they allow in their applications. Another aspect of this is that they are losing a lot of money, as Pokemon Go has already become one of the most downloaded games on the Google Play Store. Every single day, millions of people log on to play the game and spend time having fun. Imagine if it were to get banned and no one plays it. That would be a financial disaster for Google.
As long as you stay within the allowed in-app purchase limit of $1000, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. They also don’t have to give you any money back or any other type of refund if you are not happy with Pokemon Go. If you do purchase something within the application, it will work just like any other credit card or debit card that you would use. You will be able to purchase things that you would normally with your credit card, such as gas and food.