Unless you’ve been living under multiple rocks, you’ve no doubt heard about the mega-hit Pokemon Go and it’s mega-failure in Chicago this past week. Developer Niantic Labs is still dealing with the torrent of backlash from the unmitigated disaster that Pokemon Go Fest ultimately became. From the beginning the event was plagued by technical issues and lackluster fan reaction. The livestream for the event revealed it to be a barrel of laughs and cringe, when it wasn’t showing offensive Pokemon names or holding on the same still image for long periods of time. Things got so bad during the event that both the CEO John Hanke and CMO Mike Quigley were loudly booed while onstage.
To try and assuage fans, Niantic refunded all tickets, gave all attendees $100 worth of in-game money and unlocked the legendary Pokémon Lugia for them for free. The event itself was extended well past it’s scheduled end, while the second legendary release Articuno and the event’s worldwide bonuses were unlocked despite the event’s technical issues meaning the day’s in-game challenge had failed.
But some cringeworthy moments and angry fans seem to be least of the troubles for Niantic. They’ve also been hit with a class action lawsuit from a group of Pokemon Go Fest attendees. According to Thomas Zimmerman, the lawyer organizing the lawsuit, the attendees feel that Niantic did not provide the experience that was advertised and want reimbursement for travel and other 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.”
Given all of these issues, and the ongoing troubles, it’s completely understandable why Niantic would want to avoid another PR nightmare with future events. As such, several upcoming events have been pushed back to unannounced dates.
Safari Zone meetups on 5th August in Copenhagen and Prague, then on 12th August in Stockholm and Amsterdam have all been postponed until further notice, although the post does say they’re still happening this year.
In order to guarantee the best possible gameplay experience for European Trainers, we have decided to postpone the events in Europe scheduled for August 5 (Copenhagen and Prague) and August 12 (Stockholm and Amsterdam) until a date later in the Fall. 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.
And just in case you missed it, here’s a hilariously hard to watch compilation of some of the fails from Pokemon Go Fest: