‘Pokémon GO’ Fest Update: Niantic Apologizes, Lawsuit Filed Anyway

Pokémon GO is back! Well, at least it’s back in the news. After a much anticipated Pokémon GO update, the developer, Niantic, attempted to inject some new life into the defining app of 2016. It hasn’t gone well. Pokémon GO Fest, held in Chicago on July 22, was an unmitigated disaster. The game crashed, cell service died, and early in the day, Niantic offered to refund tickets to all who wanted it, as well as gave each attendee a “legendary” pokémon and $100 in “PokéCoins,” the in-game currency. Apparently, that wasn’t enough for some erstwhile Pokémon GO fans. Android Police is reporting that up to 30 festival attendees are filing a lawsuit against Niantic, claiming that their apology and free legendary Pokémon, “PokéCoins,” and refunded ticket price don’t cover the monetary hardship they endured to get to the festival.

Niantic released an update on the Chicago festival disaster today, attempting to explain what went wrong. They say that the game broke down due to technical issues, and having just too many people catching Pokémon at the same place. Because of the load placed on the cell networks at the festival, Niantic released legendary Pokémon into the areas away from the festival, and as “Pokémon trainers” filed into the Chicago night, away from the disastrous festival, Niantic CEO John Hanke said it was “inspiring to watch.”

Pokémon Go player about to make a catch
Charmander, a fan favorite Pokémon, is about to be caught. [Image by Thomas Cytrynowicz/AP Images]

Not much is known at this time about the specifics of the lawsuit. One man involved in the lawsuit says that he was under the impression that if he got flew to Chicago to this festival, he would be able to catch rare Pokémon. When he got there he found that he could not play the game at all. Many other travelers experienced the same thing. However, it is unknown at this time if those problems were confined to the festival grounds or extended after the mass exodus from the festival.

Pokemon Float above parade.
A floating Pikachu looms above a parade, celebrating Pokemon Go [Image by Scott Roth/AP Images]

Pokémon GO has been a news staple since its inception, such as when players were going to the Holocaust Museum to catch Pokémon, and when a few kids found a body in the woods, Stand By Me style, while playing the game. Now, would-be Ash Ketchums are being asked to please stop playing Pokémon GO in cemeteries.

[Featured Image by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images]