Pokémon Go Fest Attendees Filing Lawsuit Against Niantic
Niantic’s augmented reality game Pokémon Go became a worldwide phenomena very quickly. The mobile game lets players hunt, capture, and battle Pokémon in the real world. To commemorate the one year anniversary of the hit game, Niantic threw a festival in Chicago, aptly titled Pokémon Go Fest. This event invited players to join in on the celebration with the promise of some Legendary Pokémon. Due to technical difficulties, the event became a travesty immediately. Now several attendees are planning to file a lawsuit against Niantic for travel compensation.
The problems for Pokémon Go Fest were due to the game itself not working, leaving thousands of attendees unable to collect the promised in-game creatures. Niantic did offer attendees a refund on their tickets, $100 in-game credit, and the promised Legendary Pokémon. Close to two dozen Pokémon Go Fest patrons are now saying that’s not going to cut it, and filing a lawsuit to seek reimbursement for travel expenses.
According to reports, Chicago-based attorney Thomas Zimmerman claims he was contacted by one Jonathan Norton, who flew from California to Chicago for the event. Since then, Zimmerman has been contacted by “20-30” other Pokémon hunters to take part in the class-action suit against the developers. According to Zimmerman:
“[Norton] paid to fly out [to Chicago] for the festival, and had to wait for several hours in line, just like most everybody else in order to get in.”
“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.”
“The issue is, what was promised, what was the incentive that people relied on and the representations that people relied on to buy a ticket and make travel plans and fly to Chicago to participate in this festival, would they have done that had they known that that was not going to be lived up to and they weren’t going to get the experience that was represented?”
Niantic’s only comment on the lawsuit so far reads: “Niantic does not comment on pending legal matters.” Along with the ticket reimbursements and in-game rewards, the developers did extend the time and locations for rare Pokémon to be captured in the Chicago area in an attempt to rectify the game’s technical issues during the event. However, some attendees weren’t planning on staying long after.
Do you think that Niantic should be held responsible for travel expenses after the disaster that struck Pokémon Go Fest? Do you think those involved have a solid case? Were you a participant at the festival? Let us know in the comments section below. Be sure to follow DFTG on Twitter to catch our 24/7 live feed of the hottest news in gaming and entertainment.
Jon McAnally376 Posts
Hailing from the armpit of California, this most radical of nerds loves video games, comics, and collectibles (not dolls). Prepare to feast your eyes on the magical wonder that is his editorials.