Unless you’re a Slowpoke you’re probably up to date with the recent disaster, Pokémon Go Fest. Here’s a quick rundown for those who missed it: Niantic (The company who released Pokémon Go) decided to have a fest for the one year anniversary of Pokémon Go. At the festival fans of the game would be greeted with other players and have loads of fun activities to do. These included special Pokéstops, lounges for the three different teams, in-game medals, special challenges and rewards, etc. This was supposed to be a fun event for fans of Pokémon Go around the world. Sadly, things didn’t go quite as expected.
Fans churned out from all over the country, and world, to be at this event. I mean with legendaries such as Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres on the line who could really afford to miss it? But as fans showed up for the big day things took an turn for the worst. Niantic’s servers for Go kept crashing, causing fans to miss out not only on the specials events that would pop up, but also on the main reason this festival was happening to begin with. Jank Hankey, the CEO of Niantic, took the stage around 11 AM only to be met with a wave of boos. “I know some of you guys have had trouble getting logged on this morning, I want to let you know we’re working with the cell companies, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, trying to get that worked out. We’re working on the game server to get that worked out.” He exclaimed to the crowd, to which the crowd exclaimed back “fix the game!”
Niantic has been offering ammends in the form of gifts to those who attended the event, acknowledging their failure. This includes the legendary Pokémon Lugia for free, 100$ in PokéCoins, and an email telling users how to get a refund on their Pokemon Go Fest ticket. This may be fine, but to people who flew out from different corners of the country or globe this just won’t do. Sources have reported that people flew in from Japan, and with costs like lodging, food, and plane tickets, they paid upwards of a few grand. To pay that much just to have servers crash the entire time 100$ in PokéCoins just doesn’t cut it.
Johnathan Norton, a Californian who flew to Chicago for Pokémon Go Fest is filing a class action lawsuit against Niantic for false advertisement. Thomas Zimmerman, his lawyer, had this to say about the issue: “[My client] paid to fly out [to Chicago] for the festival, and had to wait for several hours in line, just like most everybody else in order to get in… We’re not seeking any relief with respect to the failure to get legendary Pokémon, because Niantic is offering that. But Niantic is not offering to refund people’s travel expenses for coming to Chicago. Most of the people came from out of state, many people from other countries — I talked to someone who flew in from Japan.”
Niantic has yet to comment on the litigations, but it must be mighty awful for fans who flew out from outside the country just to stand around and look at their phone. Here’s a video from the Pokémon Go Fest stream so you can see the action for yourself: