Pokemon Go organizers apologize for live event debacle, saying they’re ‘horrified with the results’

Over the weekend, we reported on the distastrous Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago, where thousands of paying ticket holders spent most of the day waiting in line and dealing with connection issues and bugs that made the game they were there to celebrate virtually unplayable. Massively OP’s Andrew Ross did a piece for us yesterday outlining everything that went wrong and how frustrating it is for Niantic’s fans to watch it make mistake after mistake. Well, the silver lining is that Niantic is stepping up to take full responsibility and attempting to make amends.

“Obviously they can’t completely make it up to all the people who have come out to Chicago today, but they want to extend the fact that they’re extremely apologetic and unhappy with the process and the results,” a Niantic spokesperson reportedly told press. “So hopefully this is something that we will never see replicated again, learn from this and move on. […] Just know that the staff here are pretty horrified with the results, so they want to make good as fast as possible. I’m super sorry guys — I’m really sorry especially for everyone who traveled international, East Coast, from all over. So this clearly was not what we were hoping for today. Thanks for your patience.”

Those statements to press were followed up with an official apology. The company is granting full ticket refunds to all ticket holders (though of course, if you paid extra for scalped tickets or paid for travel, you’re still out the difference), in addition to $100 in-game currency, a free Lugia ‘mon, and an extension on some of the event perks, which turned out to be much perkier than originally promised. Since the event, the extension has been lengthened, such that global rewards are still unlockable through this coming Thursday.

So yep, the company’s making amends. But the real question is whether Niantic will learn from having to do so.

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15 Comments on "Pokemon Go organizers apologize for live event debacle, saying they’re ‘horrified with the results’"

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Brown Jenkin

It is kind of amazing just how awful they are at communication, planning, rewards and everything else :( I enjoy the game but it really is a disaster.

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Rottenrotny

Well, what do you expect when you get that many millennials in one place at the same time?

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Melissa McDonald

current tech can’t handle 50-100,000 people all wanting to use your WiFi.

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Schlag Sweetleaf
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Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

So much this. I’m glad the people who traveled from far, far away are getting refunds and what not. They’re paying customers. I get that.

But Niantic, your event was pay to win. People in attendance got huge advantages that will affect your total player population (especially rural) while the rest of us got, well, the above image. Not just for the rare Pokemon, but the raid rewards. It’s bad enough that the main social feature of the game is pay-to-access, but then it’s given away to only a limited amount of people? Some of us have been playing since day 1 in our regions. We wanted to celebrate too in our own way, and Niantic largely ignored us.

The overwhelming lack of communication in game (and also on social media during the event, outside of the stream) is insulting to the common fan. I know some people are having fun, but even in my own group, the mechanics of legendaries has people in my own group cutting teammates out of raids in a rush to get legendaries, especially now that we know there’s a time limit of less than a week for most of these ‘mon. That’s far from social gameplay, sort of like how your event was far from being a social event. It was pay-to-advance, and karma struck the event down.

“So hopefully this is something that we will never see replicated again, learn from this and move on.” Really? Niantic as a company is following in the footsteps of often repeated mistakes with little to no changes from those they’re blindly following. Words mean nothing, especially from this company. Hire some game developers with experience (and a clue), and then maybe your word will start to mean something.

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Paragon Lost

Oh…man is that a disturbing image. (shudder)

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Schlag Sweetleaf

also considered...

Apokelypse Go.gif
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Paragon Lost

Great use of Col. Kurtz. ;>

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Schlag Sweetleaf

That ending is forever etched in the mental hard drive.

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Chris Brown-DeMoreno

Did anyone really expect anything different? I don’t want to sound cynical but this game has been a mess since it launched.

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Greaterdivinity

Well, the silver lining is that Niantic is stepping up to take full responsibility and attempting to make amends.

That’s less a silver lining and more a basic expectation. The silver lining would be if this actually spurred them to action to address the consistent technical, planning, and communications issues they’ve had with this title since it launched.

Just know that the staff here are pretty horrified with the results, so they want to make good as fast as possible.

Translation: WE WANT EVERYONE TO FORGET THIS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE

Formal apologies are easy as hell. Actually show some action, that they’re taking meaningful steps towards addressing these issues and preventing them from happening again, and people will care. Until then, it’s just talk, and talk is cheap. And they can sure as hell afford to do more than just talk, with how much they’ve made off that game.

This event seems only slightly better planned than the Fyre Festival, in that it wasn’t intended to be a complete scam. But beyond that, I’m not terribly sure there’s much positive that can be said about it, or Niantic.

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silverlock

The problems they ran into aren’t new stadiums have been working on this for years now. They literally did no research into how to make this event a success.

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Paragon Lost

Which is why I posted that they should hire people with experience in holding large events when they decide to do something like this.

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Paragon Lost

Good of them to own up to it and to give back to their players. Now to see if they learn from the experience or learn to hire people with experience holding large events like these.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

Owning up is the least they could do, especially when representing the IP of a beloved Japanese game. I wish I could have seen Junichi Masuda (one of the developers’ and the main series’ composer) while he was there. I cannot fathom how awful this would look to him.

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