Thousands of Pokemon fans who travelled to Chicago on July 23rd to the Pokemon Go Fest were disappointed when the game couldn’t work efficiently. The main aim of the game was to unlock a ‘legendary’ monster that was much sort after for the very first time in the cellphone game that is characterized by augmented reality.
The fans who converged in Grand Park complained of technical issues from the game throughout the day including difficulties logging into the game and catching Pokemon. John Hanke, the CEO of Niantic, the game developer was booed. The long lines to get in the park didn’t help but magnified the problem.
However, midway, it was announced by Mike Quigley, the Chief Marketing Officer of Niantic that the tickets were going to be refunded. The original tickets cost $20 and in addition, they were offering $100 in-game credits. The company promised to make the refunds to each player who had registered to the event through email.
There were those fans who had paid hundreds of dollars to buy the tickets online from secondary sources and others had travelled from different states and even different countries to attend the event. The event was later termed as a complete failure.
However, there were those who were still able to enjoy the event and caught lots of Pokemon. At Butler Field, there were lounge areas and each Pokemon Go three in-game team was to get a spot, there were photo booths for photo sessions with Pokemon, merchandise stands and concessions.
People started to queue as early as 6 a.m for the tickets. Some members of the Official Pokemon Go 40 Club which is an online community with over a thousand members all over the world graced the event.
Many of the fans who had travelled and who were looking up to the event were angry and discouraged for the failure arguing that the organizers knew how large the event could have been and therefore they could have taken the necessary steps in ensuring that it was a success.
There were fans who flew from Singapore, Panama, Australia, France, Denmark, Portugal and United Kingdom for the event. The fast sales of the tickets to this event when they were made available online just goes ahead to show how popular Pokemon is around the world.
Among the reasons that the event wasn’t a success according to the company was that the servers weren’t stable. The CEO said that the technical difficulties experienced that day were actually worse that when the game was first being tested before it was officially released. In the first weeks after the game was released, it faced a lot of technical difficulties due to its sudden popularity.
Many fans said that they would not attend another Pokemon festival since they were disappointed and felt that they has wasted their time and resources. However, Quigley saved face when in the evening he announced that anybody who had scanned their QR code when entering the park would get the legendary Pokemon Lugia. For now, we hope that next year’s festival works.