To say that the hype surrounding Pokémon Go has subsided since last summer would be an understatement, as it's rare nowadays to hear something all that buzz-worthy about the game. But despite that, the game still has an enormous amount of fans, proven by the fact that 20,000 people in Chicago took part in the inaugural Pokémon GO Fest to catch the rarest and newest Pokémon with fellow gamers.
The idea is ambitious, especially for a game that requires robust access to internet data connection. Unfortunately, it was that overwhelming requirement that ultimately left Niantic's festival efforts in shambles for this first Pokémon GO Fest. The venue and activities effectively collapsed due to poor network conditions, wasting everyone's time that decided to show up to participate.
Trainers, we’re aware of server and connectivity issues impacting #PokemonGOFest and are working as quickly as possible to address them.— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) July 22, 2017
the CEO of niantic getting booed on stage at pokemon go fest brings me nothing but joy pic.twitter.com/6WxTAvv76Q— Ｚ Ｅ Ｆ (@therealzef) July 22, 2017
As players were scouring the game field radius Niantic set, connection issues reared their ugly head before long. The infrastructure simply wasn't there to support this many people in one small area, and it resulted in the game simply not working for most. After some time, Niantic increased the radius that players were allowed to go, in order to spread people out more, which did help, but it didn't prove to be a complete fix.
There are some upsides to this story, however. Everyone who purchased a ticket to attend will receive a full refund, as well as $100 worth of PokéCoins in their Pokémon GO account. As a further bonus, each person will receive the new legendary Pokémon Lugia. Ultimately, what started as a fun and valiant effort on behalf of Niantic, turned into frustration for gamers, along with essentially a cheat code level-up. Hopefully, the many attendees are OK with that.