Pokemon Go, the game based on a smartphone app, has drawn a new kind of fan base to a game that has been largely ignored by mainstream entertainment for years.
For a brief time in July, a group of high school students who were avid gamers played Pokemon Go on their school’s Nintendo Wi-Fi network.
The game was a popular success, drawing nearly 50 million people to its Pokéstops and giving players the chance to catch more than 1,000 Pokemon in the wild.
But just a few weeks later, the school’s Internet service provider, Verizon, abruptly pulled its Wi-fi service, a move that affected thousands of Pokemon Go players nationwide.
The reason for the outage?
A data breach that Verizon said had taken down the network, a breach that experts believe was caused by hackers.
The incident has prompted Verizon to issue a public apology for its decision to pull the Wi-FI service, which has been widely interpreted as evidence that the company was trying to suppress the popularity of PokemonGo by locking players out of their games.
PokemonGo, a game based loosely on a Nintendo smartphone app that allows players to scan real-world locations to find Pokemon and collect items, was created by the Pokemon company Niantic Labs.
The company says it has more than 50 million registered players around the world, but has been accused of keeping the number low by playing down its number of real-life locations.
The Pokémon company, based in San Francisco, was founded by two brothers who have deep roots in the video game industry.
They are two of the founders of Pokémon Go, but the game is a joint venture with Nintendo.
Niantic, which owns the game, says it only keeps a small percentage of players’ data, while allowing users to “share in the fun.”
But the company’s internal investigation into the breach revealed that it had deleted data from thousands of users’ phones and computers in the weeks following the school outage, including users’ accounts and passwords.
In response to the investigation, Niantal said it was taking steps to increase privacy for users, and to help ensure the integrity of all accounts.
PokemonGo is still available on Google Play and Xbox Live, and Pokemon Go accounts can be linked to a Nintendo Wi.
Fi network account.
Nintendo, which also owns the Pokemon franchise, declined to comment.
Nintendo is also embroiled in another controversy, after a Japanese magazine reported that the Pokémon Company, which makes the game and has developed the game software, paid more than $1 billion to acquire a majority stake in a Japanese smartphone company called Niantica.
Nintendo denied the allegations, saying that the Japanese magazine was inaccurate.