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TechCrunch 3-30-18 (Pokemon GO Fest)

TechCrunch 3-30-18 (Pokemon GO Fest)

Niantic to settle Pokémon GO Fest lawsuit for over $1.5M

Written by Greg Kumparak

March 30th, 2018

Back in July of last year, Niantic organized an outdoor festival focusing on its augmented reality game, Pokémon GO. In theory, players would come from all around for a day of wandering Chicago’s Grant Park, meeting other players and catching new/rare Pokémon.

It… did not go as planned. Widespread cellular connectivity and logistical issues brought the game (and thus the event itself) to a halt before the doors even opened. People booed. People threw things at the stage. People sued.

While Niantic quickly announced that they’d be refunding all ticket costs (and giving players $100 of in- game currency), that still left many of the estimated 20,000 attendees out the cost of hotels, transportation, etc.

Niantic is settling a class action suit surrounding the festival, TechCrunch has learned, paying out $1,575,000 dollars to reimburse various costs attendees might have picked up along the way. Things like airfare, hotel costs, up to two days of parking fees, car rental, mileage and tolls.

According to documents filed in a Chicago court, an official website for the settlement should be up by May 25th, 2018, with an email sent to let attendees know. The documents also note a few potential catches: those claiming part of the settlement will need to have checked in to GO Fest through the game (presumably to prevent those who sold their tickets for a markup from getting more money out of it), and anyone claiming more than $107 in expenses will need to have receipts.

If there’s money left after all claims, lawyer fees, etc, the documents note that the remaining balance will be split evenly and donated to the Illinois Bar foundation and the nonprofit organization Chicago Run. “In no event will money revert back to Niantic” it reads.


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