Rare Pokémon GO Spawns Disrupt Belgian Ghost Town of 35 People

Lillo residents may be thinking: "Pokémon GO somewhere else."

By Daavpuke, Posted 12 Aug 2016


At the Gamesbeat 2016 event, developer Niantic’s CEO, John Hanke, explained that Pokémon GO was created to help people explore the world. In Belgium, this has resulted in a ghost town now being the most active it’s been in ages.

Pokémon GO,Lillo,Antwerp
Lillo, Antwerp

Lillo, Antwerp; a place fairly few Belgians had heard of, until the launch of Pokémon GO, for good cause. This remote, miniature township deep inside the harbor region of Antwerp is literally only a few streets wide and has as few as 35 inhabitants. This place is a speck in the middle of nowhere, not even readily accessible, as only one or two roads connect it to the rest of the world. Since the release of Pokémon GO, but more particularly the launch of dubious third-party sites like Pokévision, Lillo was spotted as being a place filled with rare Pokémon. Where other cities scatter unique spawns like Blastoise and Dragonite far and wide, the little hamlet concentrates these extraordinary Pokémon within a few meters. The result: Tons of people travel to roam the few streets day and night, to capture as many of these rare creatures as possible.

This phenomenon is a jarring contrast for the otherwise desolate town of Lillo. The release of Pokémon GO has changed this quiet, empty place to a buzzing hot spot and that does have some taxing downsides to the few inhabitants, who normally enjoy a constant silence. Pokémon GO users are often loud until late at night, leaving tons of garbage behind that the city is struggling to maintain. Bottles, cigarettes and various bits of plastic and paper litter the streets. Only the local businesses, who are constantly packed, are less bothered by the sudden influx of people. Most locals are outraged, to the point that Lillo has enacted a soft curfew at midnight, which hasn’t stopped people from flooding the streets and keeping residents up at all hours.

Pokémon GO,Lillo,Antwerp
A regular day in Lillo

It’s hard to keep a pack of hundreds of people in line, unfortunately. Even the police, who are obligated to go out to Lillo, are joining in on the hunt, as one officer stated: “When I was patrolling here yesterday, I was amazed by the amount of people. I returned here on my day off with my girlfriend and hit the jackpot.”

Earlier Pokémon GO updates removed the app’s presence from places like the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park Washington DC’s Holocaust Memorial Museum, after app users created a nuisance. Given the excess that Lillo is experiencing daily, it’s not unlikely that support may one day also disappear or get altered for the tiny Antwerp township.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed (@Daavpuke)

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General Information

Platform(s): Mobile
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Developer(s): Niantic, Nintendo
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Fantasy
Release Date: 2016-07-06

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