Pokémon GO Fest attendees are suing Niantic

Posted on July 31, 2017

Earlier this month we reported on Niantic’s very first large scale event for the launch of their highly anticipated legendary Pokémon. The event was called Pokemon Go Fest and it was held in Chicago. This was not however the seamless event Niantic were hoping for and even with all their preparations things most definitely did not go as planned or even remotely as planned for the company. Now whilst the dust might have settled on the event itself the aftermath is still very much going on with approximately two dozen Pokémon GO Fest attendees filing a class action lawsuit against Niantic.

The lawsuit was started by PoGO player Jonathan Norton and attorney Thomas Zimmerman who filed a suit alleging that Pokémon GO Fest attendees “were not able to obtain the special Pokémon and other rewards that were advertised as being available only to those people who attended the fest.” It would appear that Jonathan wasn’t alone in his disappointment over the event however as things escalated and there are now over 20 or more players seeking undisclosed damages for wasted travel expenses and “promises that were not kept.”

Angry player at Pokémon GO fest

The bulk of this lawsuit appears to come down to travel costs of attendees and that Niantic knew about the problems that would end up plaguing their event. Jonathan Norton, who travelled from California to attend the event, claims that Niantic didn’t do enough to prevent Pokémon GO Fest’s problems and that the issues amounted to false advertising on Niantic’s part. Had Norton and other attendees known about the problems that would have arisen, they wouldn’t have paid travel costs (some flying from Japan) to attend the festival.

Suing the company who hosted the event may potentially be an overreaction from some attendees, although Niantic definitely aren’t free of blame. They have grossly underestimated the popularity of their app at every turn since its inception and this has been a constant cause for cell tower and connectivity issues let alone numerous other issues. Having said that, Niantic did make an effort to compensate event goers by offering them a full refund on their event ticket (Between $10-$20US), $100 of in game credit and an automatic legendary Pokémon – which I can tell you now after spending almost a week trying to catch is a pretty sweet deal.

For now Niatic are keeping mum on this lawsuit, only stating “Niantic does not comment on pending legal matters.” Hopefully when this is all said and done we still have Pokémon to catch!