Last July, Niantic hosted a Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago’s Grant Park. The sold-out event was intended as a massive celebration of Pokémon Go‘s success. It did not go very well. Poor Wi-Fi connections rendered the game almost entirely unplayable, and Niantic was forced to issue full refunds. This left many fans out hundreds of dollars in travel and hotel expenses.
In response, a group of frustrated players organized a class-action lawsuit seeking reimbursement for the costs incurred during the the trip to Go Fest. Today, TechCrunch reported that Niantic has agreed to settle the lawsuit; the company will shell out $1,575,000 to reimburse attendees for parking, travel, hotel, and similar expenses accrued during the course of attending Pokémon Go Fest.
Court documents say that the official website for the settlement should be online by May 25, 2018. Those who attended the event will also be getting a letter to inform them of the settlement and directing them to the website to claim their reimbursement. There are a few restrictions to keep in mind, however. First of all, attendees must have checked into the Pokémon Go event through the game. Niantic did not provide an explanation, though this may be to prevent scalpers from attempting to make any more money off the event. Secondly, those who seek more than $107 will be required to provide receipts.
After the payments and legal fees have been handled, any remaining funds will be split between the Illinois Bar Association and the non-profit group Chicago Run, which fights childhood obesity. The documents promise that none of the money will go back to Niantic.
While the one-year anniversary was a mess, Pokémon Go did see a pretty strong year in 2017. The game was no longer the pop-culture hit it once was, yet it still boasted a healthy player base and saw the release of long-awaited features such as raids, legendary Pokémon, and changes to the game’s gym system. Go Fest may have been a disaster and Pokémon Go may no longer be the most popular mobile game on the market, but trainers still have plenty of creatures to catch.
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