Niantic Issues Refunds to Pokemon Go Fest Attendees After Server Issues

Boos and jeers rained down on Pokemon Go's developers at Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago.


Niantic has been celebrating the one year anniversary of their smash hit mobile app Pokemon Go for all of July. The celebration was meant to culminate with a massive gathering of Pokemasters at Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago today. After several hours of network connectivity issues at the event, the 20.000 fans turned restless. There are reports that several attendees threw garbage of the stage as Niantic Labs' CEO John Hanke tried to settle everyone down.

Things didn't improve and the crowd continued to get more and more restless as the large screen that was meant to display worldwide progress of the Pokemon Go Fest goals just sat there reminding them that they couldn't even play the game that they traveled all the way to Chicago to play.

Niantic Labs' CMO Mike Quigley took the stage to explain that the Pokemon Go development team was working on a fix to the issues, but it appeared that it was too little too late. Shortly after being booed off of stage, Niantic announced that all attendees would be issued refunds. This is yet another black eye for the popular mobile game that has had quite a history of being a bug-riddled mess. 

Pokemasters in attendance will be given refunds as well as $100 worth of Pokecoins for their troubles. This is a decent amount of damage control, but it is hard to escape this level of public embarrassment. Did you attend Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago today? Let us know in the comments section.

In case you missed it, check out our feature on The Making of Pokemon Go.


Asif Khan is the CEO, EIC, and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

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