Some Pokemon Go Fest Attendees Are Filing A Lawsuit Against Niantic

A wild lawsuit appears.

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A number of Pokemon Go Fest attendees are filing a lawsuit against Niantic, developer of the popular mobile game and organiser of the official fan event. They are seeking reimbursement for travel expenses, after making the trip to find they were unable to play there due to technical issues.

Polygon reports that Chicago-based attorney Thomas Zimmerman was contacted by Jonathan Norton and "20 or 30" other people about the issues they encountered at Pokemon Go Fest.

"[Norton] 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," Zimmerman said. However, when he--and other attendees--arrived, they were unable to play the game and thus unable to capture the rare Pokemon available there."

The opportunity to catch rare Pokemon was one of the things Niantic marketed as a reason to attend Pokemon Go Fest. Many people spent money on making the trip with hopes of catching the rarer creatures and were not able to do so, or to have the overall experience Niantic promised.

"Niantic is not offering to refund people's travel expenses for coming to Chicago," Zimmerman added. "Most of the people came from out of state, many people from other countries--I talked to someone who flew in from Japan."

Zimmerman notes that the claimants are not specifically asking for relief for being unable to get the rare Pokemon. This is something Niantic has addressed already with in-game bonuses and a refund on ticket costs.

"The issue is, what was promised, what was the incentive that people relied on and the representations that people relied on to buy a ticket and make travel plans and fly to Chicago to participate in this festival, would they have done that had they known that that was not going to be lived up to and they weren't going to get the experience that was represented?” Zimmerman asked.

When asked for a statement, Niantic told Polygon that it "does not comment on pending legal matters."

In light of the issues, Niantic did extend the amount of time the rare Pokemon could be caught for and widened the area they were available in. Two Legendaries were ultimately unlocked--check out our guide on how to catch Lugia and Articuno. It also provided an explanation for why people weren't able to play Pokemon Go at the event.

"Technical issues with our game software caused client crashes and interfered with gameplay for some users," CEO John Hanke said. "A more protracted problem was caused by oversaturation of the mobile data networks of some network providers. This caused many attendees to be unable to access Pokémon Go or other Internet services. Network congestion also led to a login issue which affected some users able to access the Internet."

You can watch the most awkward moments from Pokemon Go Fest here.

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Avatar image for PStrife

Sounds like a dumb lawsuit. You came for a chance, it didn't work out. No reason to come off as some entitled brats that don't get the concept of coming their for the chance. These lawsuit filers don't know english very good it seems.

Avatar image for Redsyrup

@PStrife: This is hilarious! Pokemon GO is so easy to pick up that even wealthy banal lawyers who have the ability/resources to sue are playing. Way to go Niantic you've captured the lowest depths of the casual market. Keep up the terrible work!

Avatar image for nintendians

they should have release the rare pokemon out into the wild and make it really rare to encounter one and hard to catch like the pokemon show and card game does.

Avatar image for ratchet200

People actually paid money to fly to Chicago for a mobile game?

Holy shit...

Avatar image for deactivated-5b2c8e0382c99

Umm... people actually flew in for this? I'm glad they weren't able to play. It's a good life lesson not to waste your money on stupid things like a mobile game.

Avatar image for Pwnslaught

@frosty988: Yes, it's a good life lesson instead to waste money on other stupid things like video games on consoles and post on gaming forums amiritie? You spending money on non-mobile games doesn't make you any less of a nerd than others and a bitter one at that so grow up.

Avatar image for Darkflare_EX

Hope these entitled fools lose.

Avatar image for ggregd


Avatar image for -sharp-shooter-


Avatar image for NaturallyEvil

These people have to be so obsessed that they literally were going to play Pokemon the entire time they were there. It's not that hard to find other stuff to see or do in the Chicago area and still have a fun trip. A ticket refund to give me some extra spending money for whatever else I end up doing sounds fair.

Avatar image for Pyrosa

@NaturallyEvil: Absolute favorite city for entertainment in the US. Great for adults, great for kids...

Avatar image for Pyrosa

The good news here is that I finally have a fresh, well-publicized example I can use to sell my day-job stuff... Black Friday, Super Bowls, and weather crises are old-hat network events now.

Avatar image for djwood84

You're acting like Niantic are a non profit company. They're making a lot off this game, and it was their choice to put on this festival. If they weren't confident they could handle that many people, they shouldn't have sold so many tickets.

Avatar image for baron_machina

I'm curious how this case would sound in a courtroom.

"I spent hundreds of dollars on airplane tickets to travel hundreds of miles to capture a digital monster on my phone game. But then I COULDN'T. No refunded ticket could ever heal this trauma!"

But to be fair, this is probably the most attention Pokemon Go has gotten in a while.

Avatar image for Pwnslaught

@baron_machina: Would sound about the same as a concert promising a lineup of famous artists and trotting out c-list singers instead while having constant sound issues and problems.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

They refunded your ticket because that's all you bought from them - you don't get anything else.

Avatar image for magnusopus

Pokemon Go Fest 2018 HYPE!

Avatar image for desertninja420

You paid out hundreds of dollars to fly to Chicago to "capture" SOMETHING THAT ISNT REAL. You deserve what you got.

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies

My heart goes out to the victims and their families.

Avatar image for brxricano

@asnakeneverdies: My heart caves in for the suspects and their victims.

Avatar image for Pyrosa

@asnakeneverdies: YES

Avatar image for Prats1993

@asnakeneverdies: LOL.