High demand for the mobile augmented-reality game Pokemon Go crashed the app’s servers in Australia Tuesday, while attracting safety and trespassing warnings from police.
The game has been a huge hit with players since it was rolled out in Australia, New Zealand and the United States late last week, with more than five million downloads on the Android Google Play app store. It has also topped Apple’s app charts.
A Pokemon “walk” in Sydney on Sunday saw thousands of gamers descend on the iconic harbour, chasing virtual cartoon character monsters around the Opera House and Botanical Gardens with their mobile phones.
“(Western Australia) Police have received numerous reports of Pokemon around the state. Rest assured – we’re gonna catch ’em all!” quipped the police force on Facebook, using the game’s tagline.
But they warned that “‘I was collecting Pokemon’ is not a legal defence against a charge of trespass, so be sure that you have permission to enter an area or building.”
Officers in the northern city of Darwin also took to the social media website to advise users that while their police station featured as a “Pokestop” – locations where players can pick up supplies – gamers did not have to enter it to get the items.