This past weekend, Niantic held a real-life event for the popular iOS and Android game Pokémon Go, called Pokémon Go Fest, where fans from all over the world descended upon Chicago to hunt for Pokémon in Grant Park. Ahead of the event, Niantic promised increased Pokémon encounters, challenges and rewards for the game's three teams, an exclusive in-game medal, special PokéStops, and more.

gofestoneyear
Unfortunately, the anniversary event was met with disgruntled attendees once network issues and game bugs were discovered by some of the 20,000 visitors to Chicago (via NBC Chicago). Niantic chief marketing officer Mike Quigley described the problems to fans during the event:

“One is a network issue. One of the providers is trying to pump in some more bandwidth so that’s something that we’re working with them closely on,” CMO Mike Quigley said onstage. “The other two issues are on the Niantic side. There’s a crash bug issue that we’ve identified. I know some of you have had that issue, as well as an authentication issue, so we’ve got it completely pinpointed to those three things.”

Some fans, speaking to CNBC, said that the problems became less frequent as the day went on, because Niantic began implementing quick fixes in the game -- like reducing animations -- to get it to run smoother.

"I spent more time trying to get the game to load than I have playing it," said Laura, who was using a phone with AT&T service. But early on, network issues were affecting all four of the major US carriers. "It was rough in the morning," said Abbie Harrison, a Verizon customer. "They're turning off animations for the lures and stuff to make it run better. It's running better now. I'm actually able to log in. It was really spotty and nothing would show up on my screen. I can now actually see and do things."

In response, Niantic is offering those who went to Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago a full $20 refund on their tickets, as well as $100 in-game credit in the form of Pokécoins. The developer also expanded the range of special Pokémon and PokéStops that appeared during the event to a two mile radius, giving attendees a chance to move farther out from Grant Park and get better cellular reception.

pokemon go fest 2


The event marked the start of Legendary Pokémon appearing within the game, so in response to the sign-in problems Niantic is gifting all registered attendees Lugia into their Pokémon Go accounts.

Game bugs, crashes, and server problems have been associated with Pokémon Go since the app launched last summer, which Niantic has largely addressed with various updates to the game. With Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago over, a similar festival has already been announced in Yokohama, Japan for sometime in August.

Top Rated Comments

thisisnotmyname Avatar
47 months ago
Maybe they were just trying to instill a sense of nostalgia for when the game had first launched.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclardy Avatar
47 months ago
One year later and the game is still a bugfest. And I doubt it will ever be in a stable state given that Pokémon Go's popularity has died down significantly, to the point where Niantic will be wasting resources perfecting it.
They just had a massive event with a ton of people, and Pokemon Go is still a top grossing game. They are still making bank on it, it is just when it released it was at an astronomical scale.

I have to question their thinking though, I have literally never been to a massive gathering of people where cell reception was not an issue, and that is just with normal usage. Here you are creating a group of people there with the sole intention of being on their phone using data. They really should have had their own rented wifi hardware, though there would still probably be issues with so many clients. The bugs in the app itself are pretty terrible though, they have made enough money at this point that they should be able to release a stable game.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ILikeAllOS Avatar
47 months ago
cell-service in downtown Chicago has always been spotty for me, at least with AT&T
It's like that everywhere with AT&T. :(
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sasparilla Avatar
47 months ago
One year later and the game is still a bugfest. And I doubt it will ever be in a stable state given that Pokémon Go's popularity has died down significantly, to the point where Niantic will be wasting resources perfecting it.
I don't think that's a fare appraisal for the game beyond this huge group in Chicago. The game outside of the Fest works just fine for the most part. I use it while I walk daily.

They had things for the "rest of the world" to do for 1/2 hour chunks in coordination with the Fest down in Chicago, my daughter and I did that and had no issues (11am, 1pm and 3pm) at any point (this was in the Suburbs of Chicago).

Definitely agree they should have done a huge WiFi, if that was possible...and tested first no matter what - they could get all the Go'er volunteers they wanted ahead of time.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
linkmaster02 Avatar
47 months ago
I don't think that's a fare appraisal for the game beyond this huge group in Chicago. The game outside of the Fest works just fine for the most part. I use it while I walk daily.

They had things for the "rest of the world" to do for 1/2 hour chunks in coordination with the Fest down in Chicago, my daughter and I did that and had no issues (11am, 1pm and 3pm) at any point (this was in the Suburbs of Chicago).

Definitely agree they should have done a huge WiFi, if that was possible...and tested first no matter what - they could get all the Go'er volunteers they wanted ahead of time.
The game is extremely buggy, even without talking about the fest. It has earned quite a reputation for being a poorly made game. The fest brought to light a whole new problem, which was cellular congestion.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
47 months ago
Didn't people fly there specifically for the event? I get that this attracted their biggest fans, and so the likelihood of defection is low, but I really expected them to do something a little more special. For example, issue everyone who got a ticket a limited edition pokemon. Maybe whatever there starter pokemon was in "make pokemon great again" hat. Just a thought.
Might want to actually read the article.

The event marked the start of Legendary Pokémon appearing within the game ('http://pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/en/post/legendaryrewards'), so in response to the sign-in problems Niantic is gifting all registered attendees Lugia into their Pokémon Go accounts.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

bloodoxygenapplewatch

Apple Watch Series 7 to Gain Breakthrough New Health Feature

Friday March 5, 2021 5:34 am PST by
Apple is reportedly planning to bring a new, first-of-its-kind health technology to the Apple Watch Series 7, in what could be a breakthrough for managing conditions such as diabetes more easily. According to a recent report from ETNews, the Apple Watch Series 7 will feature blood glucose monitoring via a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels, also known as blood...
imac pro featured black

Apple Confirms iMac Pro Will Be Discontinued When Supplies Run Out, Recommends 27-Inch iMac

Saturday March 6, 2021 7:33 am PST by
Apple on late Friday evening added a "while supplies last" notice to its iMac Pro product page worldwide, and removed all upgrade options for the computer, leaving only the standard configuration available to order for now. We've since confirmed with Apple that when supplies run out, the iMac Pro will no longer be available whatsoever. Apple says the latest 27-inch iMac introduced in August...
Top Stories 48

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Leaks, OLED iPads and Macs, New AirTags Evidence

Saturday March 6, 2021 6:00 am PST by
iPhone rumors are heating up, with noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week releasing a wide-ranging report outlining his expectations for the iPhone lineup over the next three years. This week also saw rumors about OLED displays potentially coming to iPad and Mac starting next year, increasing signs of AirTags functionality in iOS 14.5 betas, and more, so check out all of the details below! i...
Screen Shot 2021 03 08 at 1

Leaker Suggests Apple Event to Be Held on March 23

Monday March 8, 2021 2:25 am PST by
Apple will hold its first event of the year on March 23, according to information provided by a reputable Chinese leaker (via DuanRui). Apple is expected to launch AirTags, new iPads, and possibly updated AirPods at a spring event, and leaker "Kang" believes that date will be March 23. Initial speculation pointed to an event happening on March 16; however, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman shot down...
apple products refurbished store banner

Class Action Lawsuit Over Apple Providing Refurbished Replacement Devices Proceeding to Trial in August

Friday March 5, 2021 9:53 am PST by
Initially filed in 2016, a class action lawsuit that accuses Apple of violating the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and other U.S. laws by providing customers with refurbished replacement devices is set to proceed to trial August 16, according to a notice this week from law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. Apple's repair terms and conditions state that,...
iOS 14

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.4.1 With Security Fixes

Monday March 8, 2021 10:01 am PST by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.4.1, minor security updates that comes more than a month after the release of the iOS 14.4 update. The iOS and iPadOS 14.4.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's release...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature2

iPhone 13 Rumor Recap: Smaller Notch, Larger Batteries, 120Hz for Pro Models, Improved 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and More

Friday March 5, 2021 8:20 am PST by
While we are likely at least six months away from Apple unveiling the so-called iPhone 13 lineup, rumors about the devices are starting to accumulate, so we've put together this recap of everything that is expected so far. The upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will consist of the same four models and the same screen sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo,...
imac pro while supplies last

iMac Pro No Longer Custom Configurable, Available 'While Supplies Last'

Friday March 5, 2021 10:14 pm PST by
Apple appears to be on the verge of discontinuing the iMac Pro, with the store page for the high-end all-in-one Mac including a "While supplies last" tagline and only the base model with no custom configurations available for purchase. The iMac Pro launched in December 2017, and while there have been a few tweaks to the available configurations over the years, it has received no substantial...
apple mixed reality headset mockup feature

Kuo: Apple to Launch Mixed Reality Headset in Mid 2022 and Augmented Reality Glasses by 2025

Sunday March 7, 2021 8:27 am PST by
Apple plans to release its long-rumored mixed reality headset "in mid-2022," followed by augmented reality glasses by 2025, well-regarded analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors. "We predict that Apple's MR/AR product roadmap includes three phases: helmet type by 2022, glasses type by 2025, and contact lens type by...
smart contact lens

Kuo: Apple May Release Augmented Reality Contact Lenses in 2030s

Sunday March 7, 2021 9:34 am PST by
In a research note shared with MacRumors, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today predicted that Apple will release augmented reality "contact lenses" in the 2030s. Kuo said the lenses will bring electronics from the era of "visible computing" to "invisible computing." Mojo Vision smart contact lens Kuo said the lenses are "unlikely to have independent computing power and storage," suggesting that they...