Niantic Faces Lawsuit After Pokemon Go Fest Disappoints Fans

They paid for a Pokemon hunter’s dream, took part in a nightmare, and now some fans have partnered with a lawyer to seek compensation.

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Earlier this month, Niantic hosted a special festival in Chicago to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the wildly successful Pokemon GO launch in 2016. As previously reported, the shindig didn’t go quite as planned. Most attendees were unable to play for hours, due to server overload the likes of which they hadn’t seen since the game’s launch.

Though Niantic did eventually issue refunds to those who attended the festival, and awarded them $100 of in-game credit and extended access to the rare Pokemon they had missed gathering due to issues at the event, not everyone who participated is satisfied with that gesture of goodwill. Several complainants banded together and brought their complaints to a sympathetic Chicago attorney named Thomas Zimmerman. Now they’ve filed a lawsuit against Niantic to secure reimbursement for travel expenses.

“We’re not seeking any relief with respect to the failure to get legendary Pokemon, because Niantic is offering that,” Zimmerman told Polygon. “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.”

It’s easy to sympathize with those people who are disappointed by the Go Fest, particularly those who traveled a great distance only to discover the event couldn’t provide the anticipated experience. Concerts are frequently canceled with less compensation to disappointed fans than Niantic has offered the would-be Pokemon hunters, however, so it will be interesting to see if this lawsuit leads to additional compensation for those impacted.

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  • reply
    July 28, 2017 4:46 PM

    Jason Venter posted a new article, Niantic Faces Lawsuit After Pokemon Go Fest Disappoints Fans

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      July 29, 2017 7:50 PM

      Expected and unfortunate. I wish Niantic could have pulled it off. I won't be suing them. I had a great time after the fest ended and we could go all over Chicago to raid and catch unown/heracross.

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      July 31, 2017 8:51 AM

      Wasn't the cellphone provider's fault? Were they not the ones overloaded? I dont see how that is Niantic's fault. Even heard that Niantic worked with the carriers beforehand to try to boost the signals only to have them not really do anything. Niantic doesnt control those towers and did quite a bit to try to make things right in the end.. They only thing I think most people would have liked them to do is to provide wifi hotspots for people to use instead of cell towers but that would have cost a small fortune.
      I'm not sure the people suing are going to win this one but definitely feel their frustration....