Niantic Sued Over Pokémon GO Fest

by Sharilyn on Jul 28 2017 |

We all know Pokémon GO Fest Chicago was a disaster. Feel free to refresh your memory of the Poké-fail. In response Niantic is giving a full refund to all attendees, a free Lugia in their accounts, and $100 worth of Pokécoins (14,500 coins). Plus they announced more legendary Pokémon are coming to raids in the coming weeks. Moltres will be here July 31st, and Zapdos August 7th! So most trainers have gotten over it by now.

Not Jonathan Norton of California. He has filed a class action lawsuit against Niantic. According to Polygon, 20-30 others have joined the suit. Basically they're saying Niantic made promises they didn't keep, and the refund isn't enough because many people traveled far and wide to come to Grant Park, so they wants their travel expenses paid for. Cue the chorus of tiny violins.

You can read the full lawsuit here, but here are a few of my favorite lines. Apparently in legalize Pokémon GO is bet described as, "an augmented reality game wherein users 'capture' 3D monsters, called Pokémon." It also cites Twitter user @Rager67 as tweeting, "Umm you know you have 75% of PAYING customers outside still? ..."

The lawsuit also mentions the upcoming events in Europe and Asia and notes that, "As avid players of the Game, Plaintiff and Class members may attend these future events." So his experience was so horrible he's suing Niantic for travel expenses, but he's still ready to pay to fly to a different continent? Apparently it's because he may, "seek injunctive relief to require Defendent to prevent similiar issues from occuring at these fests in the future." For those of us who didn't go to law school, injunctive relief means stopping Niantic from putting on Pokémon GO events.

We sympathize with these trainers. The fest was often unplayable and pretty much a failure. But fraud seems a bit of a reach. Staff seemed genuinely surprised and upset that the fest was failing. All of the challenges were still achieved, and even extended to give trainers extra time to collect that stardust. We still got Lugia. Trainers could have easily gotten Heracross and Unown by going into the 2 mile radius around Grant Park, where crashing was a lot less common both during the fest and the day after.

To be fair, Japan Yay is based in Chicago. We know many other trainers came a long way to get to Grant Park. Is anyone else planning to jump on this lawsuit?