Pokemon Go has been out for over a month now, and still the Niantic Labs-developed app continues to impact not just the mobile gaming market but the culture at large. The game’s first few weeks of release have led to boosted sales performances for some businesses, the accidental discovery of multiple dead bodies, and a continued search for how and when legendary Pokemon will actually appear in the game.
And though Niantic’s updates to the app, removing some features while promising the return of others, as well as the alleged appearance of previously unseen Pokemon like Articuno have dominated the conversation around the game this week, the app has had continued effects outside of the game itself.
Here are some of the craziest Pokemon Go stories from the last week.
1. Olympic Gymnast Generates $5,000 Phone Bill Playing Pokemon Go
Gymnast Kohei Uchimura from Japan is in Brazil for the 2016 Olympic Games, and he’s been playing Pokemon Go while abroad to pass the time. Unfortunately, in the process he amassed a $4,954, or about 500,000 yen, phone bill thanks to roaming charges. After explaining the situation to his phone company, Uchimura convinced them to waive the extra costs and charge him a flat $30 per day fee.
2. Battery Pack Sales Double Thanks to Pokemon Go
Niantic recently removed the battery saver option for iOS players from the game, promising it would return within “several days.” But whether you’re playing on an Android or iOS device, the game can still be a hefty drain on your battery. So it’s no surprise players have started investing in extra battery packs. The demand has been so high, though, according to The NPD Group, that sales of battery packs for mobile devices grew by 101 percent between July 10 and July 23. If only the game came with its own personal Magnemite.
3. Iranian Authorities Ban Pokemon Go Over “Security Concerns”
The High Council of Virtual Spaces in Iran has banned Pokemon Go in the country, according to the BBC, citing unspecified security worries. The BBC notes, however, that social media posts in the country suggest players have ignored the ban and continue to play the game. While Iran is the first country to ban the game, The BBC also detailed that other countries have put some limits on play of the game, such as Indonesia, where police officers are forbidden from playing the game while on duty.
4. Niantic, Nintendo, and The Pokemon Company Sued Over Pokemon Go Players Trespassing
A lawsuit has been filed against the companies behind Pokemon Go, seeking class action status. The plaintiff is contesting that Niantic Labs set Pokestops and Pokemon Gyms on his property in Wesr Orange, New Jersey without his consent, and as a result players are hampering his quality of life. The suit was filed on July 29, giving Niantic Labs, Nintendo, and The Pokemon Company several weeks to respond to the suit.
IGN also took a look this week about whether Pokemon Go and the game’s function of placing virtual goods on private property is even legal.
5. Man Falls Off Pier While Playing Pokemon Go
We wouldn’t have believed it either, but IGN’s own Andrew Goldfarb came into work with the injuries to prove it. Hear the details of his harrowing journey below.