Toronto asks Pokemon Go to move Pokestops from ferry terminal

Toronto asks Pokemon Go to move Pokestops from ferry terminal
Posted at 4:24 PM, Aug 03, 2016

TORONTO (AP) — Toronto city officials are asking the developers of the popular mobile game Pokemon Go to remove locations from the city's downtown ferry terminal that has been overwhelmed by thousands of players.

The game sends players into the real world to search for digital monsters known as Pokemon, which appear on screen when users hold up their devices.

A city spokesman said Wednesday nearly a dozen of the game's digital beacons — called Pokestops and Pokegyms — are located at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and have overrun the area.

Matthew Cutler of the parks department said the huge number of players has created "significant challenges" for ferry operations and they've asked game developer, Niantic Labs, to "remove or relocate" the stops and gyms near the terminal to "more suitable parks."

Cutler wrote said that Pokemon Go players have made it "increasingly difficult" for passengers to exit the terminal, and added to the "existing confusion" in the arrivals area.

"There have also been incidences of players charging our gates and running through the crowds, presumably in search of something in the game," he said.

He said the facility was designed to manage traffic for the ferry and not hundreds of additional users as well.

Hundreds of players camp out by the ferry terminal nightly and many go sprinting at a moment's notice when word gets out that a certain rare digital monster is at another Pokemon stop nearby.

Niantic offers an online form to request exclusions, but changes to the game are not automatic.

"We've been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response from the Pokemon GO community. That enthusiasm has led players to visit many real world locations and we have received requests to remove some locations. We are moving quickly to review all such requests," a spokesman for the company said in an email.

The spokesman said he's reached out to the team to see if they have any updates on the specific locations Toronto officials are asking to be removed.