The Pokémon Go Fest was held in Grant Park last Saturday on the one year anniversary of the launch of the game played by millions worldwide. The Fest was held by the Pokemon Go company, Niantic.
Jonathan Norton is a popular player of the game with his own 75,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel Jonno Plays. He flew in from Sacramento to attend the fest. He tells WGN News it was bad from the get go with lines that stretched three miles.
“There were puddles everywhere. All of my friends ruined their shoes,” he said. “They had charging stations that were out in water and mud and people were plugging in and other people were warning then probably shouldn’t plug-in.”
Once inside the fest, things got even worse, he says.
Participants were unable to play the game, according to a lawsuit. The lawsuit against Niantic alleges the company failed to account for the large number of people in attendance. There were upwards to 20,000. There were also technical problems with the game's software and other technical issues in Grant Park making Pokémon Go was unplayable.
According to the suit, fest organizers claimed it would offer “those in attendance would be able to play the game with thousands of other players from around the world in one location and numerous special prizes, events and rewards ((such as legendary Pokémons)) ...available only to those who were in attendance.”
Chicago Attorney Thomas Zimmerman represents Norton and potentially many others in a class action suit. He believes this is consumer fraud and negligence to say the least.
“Nobody could get on the internet because of the massive amount of people in that dense area and then the company's own software had glitches in it,” he said.
The suit to seeks reimbursement of travel expenses and lodging for fest goers. Jonathon spent $1000 on his ticket from
California. He met friends who flew in from overseas.
“Australia specifically,” he said. “So the airfare was thousands of dollars and the sponsor hotels were like $600 a night.”