The first ever “Pokemon Go Fest” (which, according to some, may be the last) held in Chicago’s Grant Park has unfortunately spelled disappointment for the 20,000+ people in attendance as a majority of players were unable to connect to the game – that is if they could even get past the 3 hour queue to get into the tiny park.
The promise of rare items, eggs, Pokemon and participation in special raids has all turned out to be a lie as 20,000+ fans trying to boot up the game were plagued with server connectivity problems, issues with overloaded cellphone towers and slowdowns – those who managed to connect at all were reportedly struck with numerous bugs and technical errors, making the game unplayable.
Even the official Pokémon Go Fest 2017 Twitch stream was malfunctioning as apparently it would only show portions of the event, whether or not this was intentional to stop people from learning about the event’s issues is uncertain but Niantic CEO John Hanke eventually took the stage to address the event’s horrendous issues – only to be overwhelmed by a cacophony of booing:
The crowd occasionally worked itself into a chant as well:
The massive lines outside the park:
In an attempt to patch things up with disgruntled players, Niantic issued a refund to all attendees along with $100 in Pokecoins, free re-entry into the event as they please and even the legendary Lugia (who appeared in raid battles for 48 hours afterwards) – the range in which rare Pokemon spawned was also extended by a 2 mile radius around the park – thankfully none of which cost Niantic or Nintendo any real money.