Pokemon Go’s Yokohama event was a huge improvement over the lawsuit-provoking trainwreck in Chicago
Just a month ago now, Pokemon Go’s Chicago festival was completely wrecked by connection issues that rendered the game an unplayable trainwreck for thousands of attendees, who booed studio representatives who climbed on-stage live to apologize. A Niantic spokesperson at the time admitted the team was “pretty horrified” about how it all went down, which didn’t stop the company from collecting almost $6M in sales on just one day of the event. It didn’t stop disgruntled ticket-holders from bringing a class-action lawsuit against Niantic in Illinois, either.
At the time, Massively OP’s POGO expert Andrew Ross argued that Niantic has repeatedly made amateur-hour mistakes in its handling of a globally massive IP over the last year — that Chicago was just one more.
So it may surprise you to know that in spite of the fact that players around the world are not thrilled about the game’s new raid mechanics, the event that heralded those mechanics — Pikachu Outbreak in Yokohama, Japan — hasn’t been a trainwreck at all.
As Polygon reports, Niantic appears to have ensured that in Yokohama, the event was spread out through time and space: It took place over the course of a week on a much larger chunk of the city, contrary to the shorter Chicago event jammed into Grant Park. It also apparently heavily scripted the final raid battle, manually distributed spawns, and worked closely with cell carriers to ensure properly data load bearing, which seemed to be the cause of the worst problems in the US.
Maybe Niantic can learn from its errors after all.