The Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago was supposed to be all about those Legendary Pokémon, all attendees were supposed to join together to take down the first legendary, a Luiga. But under the heat of the sun, it seemed that wasn’t going to happen. Due to massive, and clearly sudden, bugs and server errors, no one could even get the app to open. Since there have been consistent errors in the game from day one regarding the server, it really shouldn’t have come as a major surprise.
Nonetheless, it’s rather clear that no one was more shocked and surprised than Niantic themselves. Speaking with the press presence that was there, Niantic stated that though they can’t make it up in full to those that attended the event, they would like to extend their deepest apologies. Especially to those that came from across the country to participate, Niantic hopes that this kind of disaster will never happen again and the company will try to “learn from this and move on.”
Making it up to the attendees was the least Niantic could try to do, however, as everyone there certainly wasn’t quiet about their frustration. As compensation, Niantic will be giving every attendee $100 worth of in-game currency to all ticket holders and full refunds to anyone wearing the $20 wristbands.
Niantic wanted to make it clear, again, that this wasn’t ideal, stating that the staff is “pretty horrified with the results, so [we] want to make good as fast as possible.” Later on, an apology was posted to the Niantic website in very informal terms, trying to convey to how “super sorry” they are, “especially for everyone who traveled international, East Coast, from all over.”
Some events did go well, however, the Safari Zone in Europe is going very well, as are a few fan-run local events in England. So it seems that there is hope elsewhere, at least, it was just the Chicago servers that gave up the ghost for the day. Hopefully this will help Niantic focus on fixing the server problems and bugs within the game before trying to improve the gameplay itself.