Back in July of 2017 Pokémon Go developer Niantic tried to host a festival that would allow tens of thousands of players to gather in Chicago's Grant Park to play the game and collect some rare Pokémon while doing it. The problem was that the entire festival was a disaster with limited cellular connectivity and angry people from around the world in attendance who spent money and got nothing but headaches in return.
At the time Niantic gave players a refund on the ticket costs and $100 of in-game currency, but that didn’t stop a class action suit from being filed. In-game currency and a ticket refund didn’t begin to cover the costs for fans who traveled to the event. Niantic has now settled the class action suit for some serious money.
The settlement is valued at $1,575,000 and Niantic says that a website for the settlement will be live by May 25, 2018. The money will be used to reimburse the attendees for costs associated with attending the event such as airfare, hotel, and up to two days of parking fees, car rental, mileage, and tolls. There are caveats to the settlement, however, that might prevent some folks from getting their money back.
The big one is that if you have over $107 in expenses, and anyone who stayed in a hotel even one night for the event probably does, you need receipts. The other catch is that to qualify for the settlement you must have checked into GO Fest through the game. With spotty cellular connectivity the question becomes how many attendees were unable to check in.
Niantic wants to make it clear that it will not be getting any of the $1,575,000 back. Any money not given out to qualifying folks in the class action will be donated to the Illinois Bar foundation and a nonprofit called Chicago Run.