Fans queued for up to three hours, jeered executives and didn’t catch much at all as glitches ruined Niantic’s first Pokémon GO Fest.
Chicago // By all accounts, Niantic’s first Pokémon GO Fest couldn’t have gone much worse. What was meant to be a celebration a year after the release of the game turned into a huge cluster fuck.
As many as 20,000 fans made the pilgrimage to Grant Park in Chicago on Saturday expecting to have the opportunity to catch some of the game’s rarest Pokémon as well as contributing to the unlocking of the first legendary monster.
Tickets sold at a face value of $25 per head, but with the event selling out within ten minutes of going on sale many fans paid way over the odds from scalpers.
But many were left disappointed as attendees encountered three hour queues to enter the event, and worst of all mobile networks and server issues conspired to prevent fans from accessing the game at all.
Fans jeered as executives tried to placate the angry crowds to a chorus of ‘Fix the game!‘. Niantic Chief Marketing Officer, Mike Quigley, told attendees “We know that this is not the day that we had all envisioned“.
In attempts to ease the issues the company increased the radius of the event to a couple of miles outside of Grant Park in an attempt to ease mobile access congestion and allow players to access the game.
Ultimately all attendees will receive a ticket refund, $100 of Pokécoins and Lugia, a legendary Pokémon.