The Milwaukee county parks board enacts a new ordinance that requires Pokemon GO developer Niantic obtain a permit to use locations for the popular mobile game.
While Pokémon GO is busy entertaining millions of mobile gamers a day, it appears the title has drawn the ire of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This week, the Milwaukee County Board passed an ordinance that requires Pokémon GO developer Niantic to obtain a permit if it wants to use any Milwaukee-based parks as Pokestops or Gyms in its game.
According to the Journal Sentinel, comes as a response to an overabundance of players in and around Milwaukee’s Lake Park. As one might expect, regular groups of Pokémon GO players gave the park a lot of foot traffic but they also apparently caused a lot of damage, and the county board wants to stop that. Of course the county board can’t stop Pokémon GO players from venturing into the park, but it can make it so players don’t have any incentive to do so. Without Pokestops, gyms, or potentially even Pokémon spawns, the park will seemingly lose its appeal, and players will go elsewhere.
When Pokémon GO first launched it do so with a relative carelessness – an uncertainty as to how players would respond to the game or how active they would be. More importantly, the devs had no clue as to what types of problems the mobile title would eventually run into, like Pokemon GO related deaths and injuries. Now that Pokémon GO has been out for quite some time, things have become apparent for developer Niantic that keeping the game going is not so easy.
In the grand scheme of things, having to get a permit for a mobile title is likely small potatoes, especially for a game as popular as i. If it’s true that Niantic makes upwards of $1 million per day (or at least it was around launch), then securing a permit should be no problem.
However, it seems more like that this ban is an effort to keep Pokémon GO out of the Milwaukee parks altogether. By creating a barrier to entry for the developers, the town is forcing Niantic to act, and there is no guarantee the developer will do so. There’s also no guarantee the city will approve Niantic’s application for a permit if it files one.
This isn’t the first time that Pokémon GO has caused problems for business owners and city officials, and it likely isn’t the last. Luckily for Niantic the game is so successful that, even if a whole state banned the game, or several states for that matter, it would still make money hand over fist. Still, there’s now a new precedent set for how to block Pokémon GO use in public spaces, and it will be interesting to see if any other public areas follow the Milwaukee park’s lead.
Pokémon GO is available now for mobile devices.