The first Pokémon GO fest, hosted in the sunny parks of Chicago, was a disaster. Technical issues plagued the game worldwide on a day that was meant to be celebrated for the first look at legendries, cooperative play and more. Players who had made the long journey were instead forced to just attempt to log into the game in futility, with Niantic eventually closing the event early and refunding everyone. But that’s not enough for some, and now Niantic is facing a lawsuit.
Several Pokémon GO Fest attendees have lawyered up with Chicago-based attorney Thomas Zimmerman, in a class-action lawsuit that already has around 30 plaintiffs. Zimmerman explained to Polygon that his clients are seeking monetary reparations for money spent getting to the festival – an expense which Niantic has refused to pay despite refunding the $20 entrance fees. Zimmerman states that several attendees flew from other states (and in some cases, other countries) to attend the event, and Niantic should be held accountable.
“We’re not seeking any relief with respect to the failure to get legendary Pokémon, because Niantic is offering that. 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.”
Zimmerman stressed that his clients are simply looking for repayments on expenses for getting to the defunct event, and nothing more. Attendees were forced to stand in massive queues to get into the park, only to be presented with persistent technical issues that destroyed the entire experience. Niantic’s admittance that the event was a failure is likely crucial to this case too, but it seems pretty fair that some super fans feel more than burnt.
Niantic aren’t commenting on the legal process just yet, but I wouldn’t expect this to go away anytime soon.
Last Updated: July 28, 2017