Pokémon Go Fest Didn’t Quite Go As Well As Planned

Samantha Loveridge
Pokemon Games
Pokemon Games

The first ever official live event for Pokémon Go happened today, July 22, but like the augmented reality game’s original launch, the event has been plagued with issues. In fact, the Pokémon Go Fest problems have been numerous, leaving thousands of guests frustrated and left out of the action.

The problems started even before the event had officially opened its doors. Reports started coming in early of queues lasting longer than three hours, even for those who purchased fast pass wristbands.

Then there were connectivity issues. Within minutes of the first guests getting into Grant Park where the event was being held, cellular networks started giving up and eventually virtually no-one could get online.

The app itself was also having some issues, with players able to get online finding that trying to catch a Pokémon caused an error screen to pop up. Understandably, those who had travelled to the event in an attempt to bag themselves a legendary Pokémon or get themselves one step closer to completing their Pokédex were left incredibly frustrated.

Niantic’s own CEO, John Hanke, took to the stage at the event only to be met with boos and chants of “we can’t play” on repeat.

It all got so bad that Niantic has offered anyone attending the event a ticket refund, $100 of in-game currency and the Legendary Pokémon Lugia straight into their account.

“Today at Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago, technical issues created problems for a large number of players attending the event,” came the official statement from Niantic. “From everyone at Niantic, we apologize to all of the Trainers who came out to Pokémon GO Fest today. Although we were able to solve many of the technical issues, we were not able to offer every attendee a great experience.”

Niantic is taking the following steps immediately:

  • All registered attendees will soon receive an email with instructions on how to receive a full refund for the cost of their ticket. These instructions will be sent to the email addresses associated with your Pokémon GO account.
  • All registered attendees will receive $100 in PokéCoins in their Pokémon GO account.
  • Special Pokémon, Eggs, and check-in PokéStops appearing during Pokémon GO Fest have had their range increased to a two mile radius surrounding Grant Park through Monday morning, July 24. These Pokémon and Eggs will only be visible to Pokémon GO Fest attendees who validated the QR code they received when they entered Pokémon GO Fest. Attendees who were unable to validate their QR code during the event can do so through the special PokéStops through Monday morning.
  • All registered attendees will have the Legendary Pokémon, Lugia, added to their account.
Samantha Loveridge
Sam is the UK Gaming Editor at Fandom. She's been addicted to games since she first got her paws on a GameBoy and hasn't looked back.
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