Niantic Labs finds itself in legal trouble because of the failed Pokémon GO Fest, as some attendees have joined a class action lawsuit against the developer.
The Pokémon GO Fest was supposed to be the culmination of the popular mobile game's first anniversary, with players in Grant Park, Chicago, working together with players from all around the world to unlock various bonuses and the highly anticipated Legendary Pokémon. However, what happened was considered by most attendees as a complete failure.
What Happened At The 'Pokémon GO' Fest?
The Pokémon GO Fest brought players from all over Chicago, the rest of the United States, and the world into Grant Park on July 22, but it failed to live up to its promise.
Technical issues plagued the event, with some players not able to log in to the mobile app while some players encountered connectivity issues. By the middle of the afternoon, the event's organizers called off the event.
The blame game then started, with Verizon, one of the carriers with representatives at the event, claiming that all the issues were on the end of Niantic Labs. The developer, on the other hand, said that the Pokémon GO Fest disaster was due to the oversaturation of the networks of some network providers.
To make up for the failed event, Niantic Labs refunded the $20 tickets of all attendees, gave them $100 worth of PokéCoins, and added the Legendary Pokémon Lugia to their accounts.
Unhappy Attendees File Lawsuit Against Niantic Labs
For some attendees, Niantic Labs has not done enough to apologize for the disastrous event.
Thomas Zimmerman, an attorney based in Chicago, revealed that a California local, Jonathan Norton, contacted him regarding a class action lawsuit against Niantic Labs for the Pokémon GO Fest. Since then, about 20 to 30 other attendees have joined the lawsuit, the lawyer told Polygon.
"He paid to fly out [to Chicago] for the festival, and had to wait for several hours in line, just like most everybody else in order to get in," Zimmerman said.
The disgruntled attendees claimed that Niantic Labs should reimburse not just the tickets for the event, but also their travel expenses. Norton spent much more than $20 to be able to join the Pokémon GO Fest, along with many others who came from outside of Chicago. Zimmerman claimed that he even spoke with an attendee who came all the way from Japan.
It is unclear how far the class action lawsuit would go, as claimants joining the legal action might have to pay fees that would exceed how much they would get if Niantic Labs reimbursed their travel expenses.