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
51 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
51 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
51 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
51 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
51 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
51 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

apple watch 6s 202009

Bloomberg: Apple Watch Series 7 to Feature Thinner Screen Bezels, Faster Processor, and Updated Ultra Wideband Tech

Monday June 14, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 7 is likely to have thinner display bezels and use a new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the front cover, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is planning to refresh the line this year -- with a model likely dubbed the Apple Watch Series 7 -- by adding a faster processor,...
ios 15 home screen icons

iOS 15 Lets You Drag and Drop Images and Text Across Apps

Saturday June 12, 2021 3:17 pm PDT by
Apple this week previewed iOS 15, which is available now in beta for developers ahead of a public release later this year. One smaller but useful new feature added is the ability to drag and drop images, text, files, and more across apps on iPhone. MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci demonstrated the new feature in a tweet: Using cross-app drag and drop on iPhone in iOS 15. Finally 🎉 #WW ...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
apple virtual game controller ios 15

Apple Makes New On-Screen Game Controller Available to Developers on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Saturday June 12, 2021 12:36 pm PDT by
During the Platforms State of the Union at WWDC this week, Apple unveiled a new API for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 that enables developers to implement an on-screen virtual game controller in their iPhone and iPad games with just a few lines of code. While many iPhone and iPad games already offer on-screen controls, Apple's new virtual game controller is available to all developers, easy to add,...
ipad mini 6

Next iPad Mini Will Allegedly Feature Thinner Bezels, USB-C Port, and Touch ID Power Button

Friday June 11, 2021 1:13 pm PDT by
On his newly launched Front Page Tech website, leaker Jon Prosser has shared renders showing off the alleged design of the next-generation iPad mini, which he says are based on schematics, CAD files, and real images of the device. In line with details shared earlier this month by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, Prosser claims that the new iPad mini will feature slimmer bezels around...
maxresdefault

Apple Promotes iPad Pro in New Ad With 'The Little Mermaid' Musical Spin

Saturday June 12, 2021 7:01 am PDT by
In a currently unlisted ad on YouTube, Apple is promoting the versatility, portability, and power of the M1 iPad Pro in a fun musical inspired by The Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World" soundtrack. In the ad, which features the main character using an M1 iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil, multiple users can be seen struggling with their old PCs indoors while hoping that they can...
passwords system preferences

macOS Monterey Features Dedicated Password Section in System Preferences, Built-In Authenticator and More

Friday June 11, 2021 2:32 pm PDT by
macOS Monterey makes several improvements to password management, positioning iCloud Keychain as an ideal password service to replace third-party services like Lastpass and 1Password. In System Preferences, there's a new "Passwords" section that houses all of your iCloud Keychain logins and passwords so they're easier to get to, edit, and manage. There's a similar Passwords section that's...
macos monterey tidbits feature copy

macOS Monterey Tidbits: Animated Memoji on Login Screen, Change the Color of the Mouse Pointer, and More

Friday June 11, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
We've highlighted several new features coming in macOS Monterey, such as Low Power Mode and the option to erase a Mac without reinstalling the operating system, but there are some smaller tidbits that we wanted to share. Animated Memoji on Login Screen One small but fun new feature in macOS Monterey is the addition of a personalized Memoji on the login screen, complete with animated facial...
m1 imac back

Some M1 iMac Models Shipping With Crooked Mountings

Monday June 14, 2021 12:50 pm PDT by
Some M1 iMacs appear to have a manufacturing defect that causes the display to be mounted on the stand in a way that's not perfectly aligned, leading to a crooked display. YouTuber iPhonedo over the weekend published a review of the M1 iMac, and he found that his machine appeared to be tilted on one side, a mounting disparity that was visibly noticeable and proved with a ruler. Another...
mr white ipod touch 5 protoype3

Unreleased iPod Touch 5 With Chamfered Edges and 30-Pin Dock Connector Shared Online

Thursday June 10, 2021 2:05 am PDT by
Occasional leaker Mr White has today shared interesting images on Twitter of what appears to be an old-school fifth-generation iPod touch prototype with chamfered edges and a brushed aluminum finish. The original iPod touch 5 that Apple released in October 2012 had a unibody anodized aluminum chassis with rounded edges, and was available in several colors, including slate. Another...