If you’ve ever been to a massive gathering of tech-savvy people — like say, a gaming convention — you know better than to rely on the internet for sending emails or tweeting consistently, let alone for gaming itself. That’s just one of the lessons being learned by Niantic and the thousands of people who paid for tickets to Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago this weekend.
Multiple outlets are reporting that not only can many people inside the park not connect to play, but there have been huge lines outside the park as people still wait to get in. When Niantic CEO John Hanke took the stage to calm everyone, he was subsequently booed and heckled while issuing apologies. Ouch.
Popular fansite The Silph Road reports that Niantic is offering refunds and chunks of currency, but that won’t help all people who flew in from out of state — or out of country — for an event that’s gone south.
Massively OP POGO specialist Andrew Ross tells us that the event itself appears to be bugged and includes content that could be construed as pay-to-win. “Not only is there the most powerful regional at the event but another super rare pokemon,” he said, and that’s in addition to free raids for ticket holders. “People at the event are getting huge advantages, but I was told this was to be a purely ‘social’ event [during our E3 interview].”
Due to degraded experience on overtaxed cell networks, Niantic will be offering full refunds to GO Fest ticket holders + $100 in PokeCoins.
— The Silph Road (@TheSilphRoad) July 22, 2017
This is a big thing. Pokémon GO Fest being like this could be damaging to the Pokémon brand as a whole. https://t.co/dZfS3t9KIE
— Joe Merrick (@JoeMerrick) July 22, 2017