The inaugural 'Pokémon Go’ Fest last year was supposed to celebrate the exorbitantly popular augmented reality (AR) game with a massive attendance. According to Rolling Stone, mobile game developer Niantic expected up to 20,000 fans to attend the Chicago event, but the day turned sour due to technical issues — like Niantic’s servers not being able to handle the massive amount of simultaneous users on the app. Even though the mobile games company tried to assuage its fans with ticket refunds and in-game items, thousands of people had already traveled to Chi-town, seemingly for nothing — with their anger resulting in a class-action lawsuit against the company. According to Tech Crunch, the $1,575,000 lawsuit has just been settled.
Before we touch on the class-action lawsuit, let’s go back to July of 2017, when it all began. Fortunately for us, Andrew Reiner of Game Informer was part of the crowd that day and managed to capture the moment things turned sour, and the crowd united against Niantic and its inexcusable screw-up. The moment you’re about to see reportedly occurred after the app crashed, after the masses were thoroughly fed up, and right as Niantic founder and CEO John Hanke hit the stage. In case you can’t hear them clearly — these are hundreds of people screaming at Hanke and his employees to “Fix the game.”
While the ticket refunds and in-game items were undoubtedly appealing enough to many attendees, not everyone was as merciful. One California man wanted justice, filing a class-action lawsuit that very same July, with the legal claims stating that the festival didn’t live up to the agreement inherent in the ticket purchase. As Rolling Stone reported earlier today, that lawsuit is now being settled for over $1.5 million, with an official settlement website (who knew that was a thing?) going live on May 25th.
However, not everyone who attended Pokémon Go Fest last July can file an official claim — only those who checked in through the Pokémon Go app can. On top of that, for those demanding more than $107 in expense reimbursements — receipts will have to be presented. According to Tech Crunch, the remaining money from this $1.5 million lawsuit pool will be evenly divvied up and donated to nonprofit organization Chicago Run and the Illinois Bar Foundation, with not a single cent finding its way back to Niantic. Presumably, for some, Pokémon Go is officially over.