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Pokémon Go-style AR games will need permits if they want to include Milwaukee parks

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Parks and permit-approved recreation

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Pokemon Go James Bareham / The Verge

A new ordinance approved by the Milwaukee County Board will require developers of “location-based augmented reality games” like Pokémon Go to get a permit before including public county park locations in their games, per a report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The news comes at the end of a process that began last summer, when the Milwaukee County Parks department filed a request to Niantic to follow local county ordinances and receive an event permit after an onrush of eager pokémon trainers swarmed Lake Park. That led to a public meeting in September where park supervisor Sheldon Wasserman advocated that the county sue Niantic for “running an event in the park without a permit," causing what he described to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as “thousands of dollars” of damage to the parks. During the summer, at the height of the mobile ARG’s popularity, local law enforcement officers distributed hundreds of citations to players for violating ordinances against littering and park opening hours.

The new ordinance only requires that companies developing augmented reality games apply for and receive the permits before placing in-game locations and interactions in the park. The county stressed that it isn’t designed to limit public access to the park.