7-28-17 (Pokemon GO Fest) 7-28-17 (Pokemon GO Fest)



July 28, 2017

Pokemon Go Attendees Seeking Travel Reimbursement Following Disappointing Event

Pokemon Go developer is still in hot water over the disastrous Pokemon Go Fest held in Chicago last weekend. Almost two dozen attendees felt duped by the event and have now filed a lawsuit against Niantic, seeking reimbursement for travel and other expenses.

Thomas Zimmerman, the attorney organizing the case, was first contacted by a man from California who travelled to Chicago for the event. The gift of it is that Pokemon Go Fest didn’t live up to the promises that were advertised because the game wasn’t working that day. Roughly 20 to 30 attendees feel the same way and have since joined the class-action suit against Niantic. Originally, the event was advertised as being a celebration of Pokemon Go’s first year and that attendees would be catching rare Pokemon that were difficult to find. Disappointment soon swept over the festival once people realized that the game wasn’t even working, which was reflected when the CEO of Niantic, John Hanke, was booed on stage.

Niantic has openly admitted that they were “horrified” by the events that happened and offered full refunds on attendee’s tickets, as well as $100 of in-game credit and the promised legendary Pokemon as an apology. Unfortunately, for Zimmerman and others, this wasn’t enough. Many people travelled great distances in order to attend Pokemon Go Fest and want Niantic to cover their travel expenses more than anything else.

“We’re not seeking any relief with respect to the failure to get legendary Pokémon, because Niantic is offering that,” Zimmerman told Polygon. “But Niantic is not offering to refund people’s travel expenses for coming to Chicago. Most of the people came from out of state, many people from other countries — I talked to someone who flew in from Japan.”

“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, further cementing his belief and desire to defend his clients.

Niantic has said that they “do not comment on pending legal matters.”

It definitely doesn’t look good for Niantic right now. Pokemon Go Fest’s underwhelming event has been reported globally with the consensus that it was a disaster. While it’s always difficult to foresee technical difficulties — Niantic blames “cellular traffic” for the reason their app didn’t work — it certainly doesn’t help when the focus of the event was about playing the game.

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Rated by Super Lawyers: Thomas Zimmerman