The Pokémon GO Fest in Grant Park, Chicago was planned as the first real-world event for the mobile game, but it ended up as a disaster.
Developer Niantic Labs prepared the Pokémon GO Fest as an event that will have players from all over the world collaborating to unlock rewards, which was expected by most to be the arrival of Legendary Pokémon to the mobile game. However, several factors made the day worth forgetting for thousands of Pokémon GO players who attended the event.
Pokémon GO Fest Problems
Approximately 20,000 players arrived at Grant Park in the morning of July 22, expecting to take part in an event that will celebrate the first anniversary of Pokémon GO. However, what they encountered was a reminder of the mobile game's early woes, which were experienced shortly after it launched a year ago.
The Pokémon GO Fest was plagued with technical issues, as players logging in to the app while at the event saw mostly error screens. Verizon, which worked with Niantic Labs to prepare for the event, claimed that the problem was with Niantic Labs.
A spokesperson for Verizon claimed that the wireless carrier boosted its capacity for the event, with representatives at the area to monitor the status of its network. Given the large scale of the Pokémon GO Fest, it can be assumed that other carriers did the same thing.
However, players still experienced connectivity issues with the Pokémon GO app. When they tried other apps such as YouTube, they worked fine, pointing to the fact that the issue was with Pokémon GO and not the carriers of the players.
The event was turning out to be such a disaster that when Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke took the stage, he was greeted with a massive chorus of boos. By the middle of the afternoon, the organizers decided to call off the event.
Niantic Labs issued an apology through its official website, and outlined the steps of how it will make up the failed event to players. According to the developer, registered attendees will receive a refund on their tickets, plus $100 in PokéCoins. Lastly, all attendees will receive the Legendary Pokémon Lugia added to their Pokémon GO accounts.
Legendary Pokémon Now In 'Pokémon GO'
Despite the disastrous Pokémon GO Fest, there still exists a silver lining. In addition to Lugia, the Legendary Pokémon Articuno has also been added to the mobile game.
For players who would like to catch Legendary Pokémon, here are a few tips in tracking them and taking them down.