The Pokemon Go Fest was a disaster in every area. Though Niantic tried to compensate fans by paying $100 Pokemon coins in addition to giving refunds, one player filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, stating that the Pokemon Go developer did not pay enough to cover losses.
Niantic failed to keep its promise
Player Jonathan Norton, the person who filed the lawsuit, came from California to attend the Pokemon Go Fest, which was plagued by several technical glitches. Norton stated that Niantic failed to keep its promise that players would be able to enjoy the game with a crowd of other 20,000 players.
Niantic also promised that by attending the fest, they would be able to work with players known as trainers. Additionally, participating players would supposedly get in-app medals for attending the festival and “special 2km Eggs” at Pokestops within the park.
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But “the reality of the Fest fell flat in comparison” against Niantic’s promises, and attendees had to wait in a “3 mile line” for an “unplayable” game, the suit claims. Attendees had to pay $20 for entry passes, while in the secondary market, the price went up to $100, according to the lawsuit. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
Pokemon Go Fest was a disaster
At the Pokemon Go Fest, after the situation grew worse, players started shouting about not being able to play and asked the team to do something about it. The hosts and performers were clueless about how to handle the situation. The event went haywire, with the hosts trying to bring players back to the game amid participants’ fanatical booing.
The situation got somewhat under control for a while when the Niantic opened up a “capture area” where all the Poke goodies were available, allowing the attendees to participate in other fun activities. But when nothing seemed to be working, Niantic had no option but to offer refunds and release the Legendary Pokemon to everyone.
The blame game
In a blog post earlier this week, Niantic CEO John Hanke apologized on behalf of his team. Further, the CEO stated that the preparations at Niantic are not as much to blame as the cellular data congestion that overloaded the mobile network providers and plagued the game.
“Technical issues with our game software caused client crashes and interfered with gameplay for some users. The gameplay issue was resolved with a server configuration change and the crashes were also addressed for many but not all users,” Hanke said.
Prior to the event, Niantic did think of the mobile congestion issue and rightly asked network providers to be ready with additional cell coverage. Sprint, one of the sponsors for the Pokemon Go Fest, deployed mobile units to handle the extra traffic, but the other network operators were under the impression that the arrangement was just enough to handle the players. Players on AT&T and Verizon were the most frustrated of the lot, complaining of major glitches, notes Engadget.
There was also no help from The Pokemon Company International (TPCi), who has been conducting some of the most successful events, like the Pokemon World Championship. If not perfect, TPCi’s experience could have helped to manage things a little better. Instead, Niantic largely organized the event by itself.