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Niantic gets sued over Pokémon Go Fest fiasco
Several attendees who traveled to Chicago from other states and countries have filed a class action lawsuit against Niantic.
If you’ve been following Pokémon Go updates, you probably know what happened in Chicago just a few days ago. Dubbed the Pokémon Go Fest, it was supposed to be a huge celebration that would mark the game’s first anniversary. Players from all over the US as well as other countries gathered in Chicago’s Grant Park, and Niantic promised rare Pokémon, rewards, training tips, and more. Unfortunately, things didn’t go well. In fact, it was disastrous.
The game’s servers stopped working, and nobody was able to play. Angry attendees threw water bottles onto the stage and booed Niantic’s CEO, chanting, “We want refunds!” The company issued an apology just few hours into the event and stated that it would be refunding ticket costs and giving out $100 in-app credit as well as the legendary Pokémon Lugia for free. But for those who spent hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of dollars to travel to Chicago, the fight isn’t over yet.
Imagine flying all the way from Japan only to find out that the game isn’t even working. Awkward.
Jonathan Norton, a California local who flew to Chicago for the Pokémon Go Fest, has launched a class action lawsuit against Niantic for false advertisement. His lawyer, Thomas Zimmerman, says that 20 or 30 others have joined the suit and that they will be asking for monetary compensations for their travel expenses:
[My client] 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… We’re not seeking any relief with respect to the failure to get legendary Pokémon, because Niantic is offering that. But Niantic is not offering to refund people’s travel expenses for coming to Chicago. Most of the people came from out of state, many people from other countries — I talked to someone who flew in from Japan.
While Niantic declined to comment on the pending litigation, imagine flying all the way from Japan only to find out that the game isn’t even working. Awkward.
Were you in Chicago a few days ago for the Pokémon Go Fest? Did you have to spend money to go there? Let us know by leaving a comment below!