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Complex 7-31-17 (Pokemon GO Fest)

Complex 7-31-17 (Pokemon GO Fest)

Angry Pokemon Fan Sues Company Behind Disastrous Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago


JUL 31, 2017

If you’re one of the many people who left the recent Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago feeling unsatisfied, there’s a hero stepping up to stick it to the man for you. Not content with simply sending an angry email to the inbox of the people at Niantic—the company behind the success of the Pokemon Go app—a Pokemon fan is suing Niantic and claiming they are liable for false advertising after the failed Pokemon Go Fest.

The lawsuit, which was filed by a man named Jonathan Norton, cited a sales pitch from the company that described a festival bursting with activity. But the festival was instead plagued by app errors and long lines and ended with profuse apologies from the company for how it all went down. Norton is not content with that, according to paperwork filed as part of his class action suit.

“In reality, those in attendance at the Fest were unable to play the Game due to Defendant’s failure to account for the number of people that attended the Fest,” reads the suit. “Due to Defendant’s failure to account and prepare for the number of attendees at the Fest, angry attendees found themselves waiting in line to enter the Fest hours after commencement of the event.”

Norton’s claim is backed by a boatload of evidence shared on social media. Fans banded together for chants of things like “We can’t play!” during extended outages and later mocked Niantic’s failure to put together a competent festival.

Though the company declined to comment in response to the lawsuit, Niantic has spoken out about the issues that plagued Pokemon Go Fest. The CEO of the company John Hanke appeared to blame cell phone carriers for the issues plaguing users at the festival, as if planning for the proper number of users was not the majority of what his company was responsible for at the event.

Hanke is not exactly popular with Pokemon Go users. When he came out to speak to a crowd of attendees at the festival, he was booed by an audience full of frustrated fans.

Niantic has offered refunds and a sum of $100 in in-game cash to anyone who attended the festival. Norton was clearly not satisfied with that deal. The suit asserts that attendees would never have arranged to come in the first place had they known it would be such a shitshow and that those fees don’t cover the additional spending necessary to attend such an event.

“Had Plaintiff and the Class members known that they would spend most of the event waiting in lines, be unable to obtain cellular or internet service, and encounter technical problems with Defendant’s game,” reads the suit, “they would not have purchased tickets to the Fest, and would not have spent money on travel and other accommodations for the Fest.”

Don’t be shocked if a few other people jump in on this. Gamers can be an unruly bunch, and given how big of a failure the festival was, they are justified in their grievance this time around.


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