To celebrate Pokemon Go’s one-year anniversary developer Niantic set up the first official real-world event Pokemon Go Fest. In Chicago’s Grant Park, Pokemon Go fans gathered for the chance to celebrate their love of Pokemon Go as well as get the chance to catch never-before-seen Pokemon. Instead they were met with disappointment.
Reports say fans were being required to wait up to three hours to enter the event despite having early access wristbands. Once inside though, connectivity issues and app crashes made it nearly impossible for players to catch the rare Pokemon they had hoped to find.
Attendees took to Twitter to express their disappointment, calling the event a “disaster”. ABC New 7- Chicago spoke to Rob Schuyt, who had driven all the way from Minnesota to attend the event that turned out to be a “complete and utter failure…they should have known you can’t have 20,000 people in a two-block area all trying to connect to LTE and their servers. It’s just nuts.”
The outrage wasn’t limited to social media. Reports say that when Niantic CEO John Hanke got on stage he was met with chants of “fix our game” while another fan threw a water bottle at host Rachel Quirico.
It seems the only good news to come out of Pokemon Go Fest was that players caught enough Pokemon to unlock legendary Pokemon Lugia who will be available worldwide for the next 48 hours.
In response to all the issues Niantic has said that they will be refunding the $20 entrance fee as well as giving out $100 worth of PokeCoins.