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This Pokemon Go Event Might Be Illegal

Pokemon Go is one of few games with the dubious honor of being blamed for criminal mischief. Developer Niantic had to add in specific warnings that asked players to politely avoid trespassing on private property while they went out to catch Pokemon. Now, however, Niantic is the one being reported to the authorities after a Safari Zone event turned out to be more expensive than was advertised.

Safari Events are a new, limited edition to the mobile game. Hosted in various cities across the US and the UK, they are meant to give players a chance to catch rare, sometimes region-exclusive Pokemon like Chatot and Relicanth. These are ticketed events typically taking place in parks where players can wander around, catch rare Pokemon, and even buy some merch — almost like the Safari Zone from the mainline games.

Sounds like a good time, right? Pokemon fans in the UK thought so too right up until they saw how much the tickets to this Safari would cost.

Why Niantic might be in legal hot water

When tickets for April 17 Liverpool Safari Zone went live, prospective attendees were frustrated to find that the tickets were pricier than what Niantic had initially promised. Apparently, it was originally stated that "general admission tickets will be £12, and early access tickets will be £18." Now, however, buyers are reporting separate charges for taxes and fees, which are being added to that purchase price.

That's annoying — but is it illegal? It might be, according to some disgruntled players who are threatening to report Niantic to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority. Some, who have gone ahead and filed a report, are citing the code that states that "quoted prices must include non-optional taxes, duties, fees and charges that apply to all or most buyers."

Basically, the reports are saying that Niantic was trying to bamboozle buyers illegally by excluding the extra costs from the originally advertised price point. The Advertising Standards Authority confirmed that it had received these reports and was trying to contact Niantic, which quickly apologized via Twitter for the "error" saying, "Previous advertising for Pokémon GO Safari Zone Liverpool tickets didn't include the service fee and VAT costs. We're updating all ticket listings today."

We'll be sure to let you know if this apology and updated pricing has fixed the issue, or if Niantic is in serious trouble.