Some Attendees Are Now Suing Developer Niantic Over Pokemon Go Fest


A Chicago-based attorney has confirmed to Polygon that a lawsuit has been filed seeking to reimburse travel expenses for GO players who had to pay more than just the $10 to attend last weekend's event. Niantic chose to take the lead by proposing a paying event in Chicago that would allow each player to go back with Lugia, the first legendary of the game. Then server problems and overloaded cell towers kept players from logging on. Though the event was held in Chicago, numerous loyal Pokémon Go players came from out of state, and even as far as out of the country. With the unkept promises Niantic made about the festival, plaintiff Jonathan Norton feels that many attendees wouldn't have made the trip had they known the festival wasn't going to provide the experience that was both promised and expected. Norton said he traveled from California to attend the festival, which promised attendees the opportunity to play the game with thousands of other players and get special prizes and rewards.

And while he tried to turn the failure into something inspirational with musings about how their own guests banded together to catch a few rare Pokemon outside of the event, his words failed in the minds of those in the lawsuit to rewind time or refill emptied wallets.

The suit seeks unspecified damages to be determined at a trial.

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Though the company offered $100 worth of Poke Coins and a complete refund for all tickets, these reimbursements did not fully cover the travel expenses that fans accrued including flights, hotels, and more. The Pokemon GO Fest, as it was called, was not free of hassles. As a way of apologizing to European players affected by these delays, Niantic says that several Pokemon "rarely seen in Europe" will start appearing in a number of cities in the region.

Niantic offered ticket refunds and $100 in United States dollars worth of in-game PokeCoins to those affected, but the class action lawsuit is focused on recouping travel expenses as well.