Among features like battling and trading with their fellow players, one addition that Pokémon Go gamers have requested since the game’s launch in July 2016, is legendary Pokémon. It took a long time, but developer Niantic finally listened, and it introduced them to the world on July 22. Alas, it did not go well — so poorly, in fact, that some (former) fans are proposing a class-action lawsuit. Furthermore, Niantic announced that it would postpone Pokémon Go Safari Zone events in Europe, though those games have now been rescheduled for October.
Before everything went awry, Niantic intended to celebrate the game’s one-year anniversary with several new features in July, including the Pokémon Go Fest and Safari Zone battles set to take place throughout July and August. Sadly, the festival in Chicago’s Grant Park, the first of its kind, wasn’t exactly the runaway success its creators hoped it would be. Attendees to the sold-out event (tickets were gone after just 10 minutes), were dismayed to find that Wi-Fi was unavailable to their mobile devices throughout sections of the park, which effectively rendered the game impossible to play.
“Today at Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago, technical issues created problems for a large number of players attending the event,” a Niantic spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”
“Fest attendees encountered a ‘three-mile line’ and an unplayable Game.”
Niantic ultimately refunded tickets to the thousands of players who showed up to the event, and also gifted them $100 to spend in the app as well as a number of free game features. But for the many trainers who traveled many miles to get to Chicago, this was hardly satisfactory recompense. Ergo the lawsuit.
The case, filed in in Cook County Circuit Court, is seeking unspecified damages on the grounds that the festival failed to meet expectation.
“Fest attendees, many of whom like Plaintiff traveled to Chicago from other states or countries, had the reasonable expectation of arriving at Grant Park for a day of capturing rare 3D monsters with their friends, families, and other so-called Pokemon Go ‘Trainers,’ but the reality of the Fest fell flat in comparison to Defendant’s promises,” the suit reads. “Upon reaching Grant Park, Fest attendees encountered a ‘three-mile line’ and an unplayable Game.”
To ensure that improvements were made, Niantic announced that it would be postponing events in Europe initially scheduled for August 5 (Copenhagen and Prague) and August 12 (Stockholm and Amsterdam). “In order to guarantee the best possible gameplay experience for European Trainers, we have decided to postpone the events in Europe,” the company wrote. However, “No other scheduled events are affected including the event scheduled for Yokohama, Japan on August 14 and the events scheduled for September 16 in France, Spain, and Germany.”
The two postponed games are now slated to be played in October. On October 7, there will be events held at Fisketorvet in Copenhagen, Denmark; and at Centrum Cerny Most in Prague, The Czech Republic. On October 14, folks can go to the Mall of Scandinavia in Stockholm, Sweden; and the Stadshart Amstelveen in Amstelveen, The Netherlands, to play the game.
Update: Previously postponed Pokémon Go events have now been rescheduled for October.
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