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Chicagoist 7-28-17 (Pokemon GO Fest)

Chicagoist 7-28-17 (Pokemon GO Fest)

Disappointing Pokemon Go Fest Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over ‘Unplayable’ Game


JUL 28, 2017 12:58 PM

Pokemon Go Fest was not the rollick in the park that thousands of fans of the popular smartphone game had hoped it would be—thanks, mainly, to problems getting cell service to said thousands of people, who were packed into a section of Grant Park.

Attendees waited for hours in long lines outside the fest; they chanted “We can’t play;” they complained. And now, predictably, players have brought a class action lawsuit against the fest hosts, calling the Saturday fest’s interactive game “unplayable.”

At least 20 to 30 people have joined in on the lawsuit so far, which seeks unspecified damages, according to the gaming news site Polygon.

Fest organizers with the game company Niantic offered to refund players $20, the face value of tickets to the fest, which some say they paid hundreds more on the secondary market to acquire, and give players other in-app consolations. But, for players who expected to get special rewards within the app for attending the festival, and the ability to “catch” rare Pokemon characters only available at the fest, the results were still incredibly disappointing. The lawsuit describes how many attendees waited in a “3 mile line” for hours, just to get into the fest, and claims fest organizers should have anticipated that players would have trouble getting their cell phones to connect to the Internet—”a widely-known problem at highly-populated festivals in Chicago.”

The suit specifies that Niantic violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act by misleading its attendees, many of whom traveled from around the country.


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