Niantic has found themselves in hot water after the fiasco that was the Pokemon GO Fest in Chicago. After it became clear that no amount of extra bandwidth and chipper hosts could repair the damage, Niantic pretty much accepted defeat. They agreed to refund tickets and give participants in-game money. However, a number of attendees have come together, and are filing a class-action lawsuit. They demand Niantic recuperate their travel costs.
What was supposed to be a shining moment for Pokemon GO and Niantic ended up being a complete failure. Everybody wanted Pokemon GO Fest to be amazing. In the end, it turned out to be a huge waste of time, money and energy for everyone involved. Niantic tried to fix things while the event was still happening, but to no avail. And, if we’re going to be fair, they should’ve thought about that extra bandwidth ahead of time. To appease people, Niantic decided to refund tickets, and five everyone $100 dollars in Poke Coins.
Unfortunately for them, the issue seems to be far from settled. The piper has only started a-knocking. Niantic might have to face a class-action lawsuit from disgruntled attendees, demanding refunds for their travel costs. As Polygon reports, it all started when Jonathan Norton from California, who flew in for the event, approached Chicago-based lawyer Thomas Zimmerman. Since then, according to Zimmerman, twenty or thirty more people have joined the class-action lawsuit. And they couldn’t care less for Legendary Pokemon and free Poke Coins. As Zimmerman told Polygon:
We’re not seeking any relief with respect to the failure to get legendary Pokémon, because Niantic is offering that. 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 — I talked to someone who flew in from Japan.
So far, Niantic hasn’t commented on the situation. We’ll keep you posted as the situation develops. That being said, it’s pretty sad how everything transpired. None of this had to happen. Oh, well. Live and learn.