After disastrous debut, Pokémon Go Fest will return this summer with high hopes

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While the 2017 Pokémon Go Fest didn’t quite go as planned (to say the least), Niantic and The Pokémon Company will bring the festivities back this summer for round two from July 14-15.

The two-day event dubbed “A Walk in the Park” will be held in Chicago once again. This time, though, the event takes place at Lincoln Park instead of Grant Park. Throughout the nearly two miles of paths in the park, Niantic will have booths and activities for trainers to engage with. Chicago will also see an uptick in rare Pokémon and in-game events during the fest. Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. PT on May 11 for $20 each.

The studio acknowledged the disappointing 2017 event in a press release. Last year, Pokémon Go was basically unplayable at the fest for a number of technical reasons, rendering the whole event a bust. Rightfully disgruntled eventgoers soon filed a class-action lawsuit against Niantic for hotel and travel expenses, a suit that Niantic recently settled to the tune of $1,575,000.

Niantic will also host a pair of “Safari Zones” in Dortmund, Germany, and Yokosuka, Japan. The Dortmund event is scheduled for June 30 and July 1, while the Japan event will take place sometime this summer. The international events fared much better than the Chicago fest last year, with successful outings in Korea, Japan, and numerous cities in Europe.

Niantic promises to have “connected gameplay events around the world” during and around the fests for those who cannot attend. This will include in-game activities and challenges. Exactly how those will play out will be revealed closer to each event.

It’ll be interesting to see how Niantic approaches the summer fests, in particular, the Chicago one. It’s likely that those who were playing Pokémon Go last summer still represent a sizable percentage of the current user base. Will hardcore Pokémon Go enthusiasts travel to an event that went so poorly last year? At the very least, it’s probably safe to say Niantic will go to great lengths to avoid a repeat of 2017. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see Pokémon Go getting this amount of love as it winds down its second year of life.

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