Will Pokémon Go Reemerge in Milwaukee?
Pokémon Go was the talk of the world last summer and Milwaukee had one of the best places to play. Lake Park. There have been some changes at Lake Park. Did Pokémon Go make it through the winter? Is it still popular?
"Everyone running and laughing and having a great time.” Said Steve Black, Jr. from a once bustling Pokémon Go spot in Lake Park. “That experience is so contagious. That's like an experience I will never forget."
Milwaukee resident Black, Jr. is a big Pokémon guy. He’s been hosting a Pokémon podcast called “It’s Super Effective” from the Brew City for seven years.
"Honestly, I thought it would be big, but I didn't think it would be as big as it became." Said Black, Jr.
It was huge. The CEO of Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go said in a speech in February that the game has been downloaded 650 million times. It crushed Apple store records in its first weeks.
Milwaukee’s Lake Park was the primo spot for players last summer and fall.
"This part in particular where we're sitting, we had hundreds of people in this part alone.” Black, Jr. said of a spot near the Lake Park Bistro.
That was too many Pokémon for Milwaukee County. A new ordinance requires Niantic and companies like it to get permits and pay a fee to have augmented reality geocache games in county parks.
Niantic removed some Pokestops and now turn off the rest every night just before the park closes.
Another augmented reality developer, Candy Lab, Inc. is suing the county in federal court over the ordinance.
Black thought the county’s response was a little much.
"To me, I knew that not only would Lake Park see a decrease in traffic over time because people would get tired of the game, I knew winter was coming.” Said Black, Jr. “And that right there was the biggest stop for Pokémon Go."
CBS 58 has been to Lake Park at several different times in the last three weeks and there have been a significantly smaller number playing compared to last summer and fall.