The very first live Pokémon Go Fest was held in Chicago, Illinois, last weekend, and hardcore Pokémon Trainers flocked to Grant Park to hang out with other fans, unlock in-game rewards, and to finally capture a Lugia as well as several other legendary birds for themselves. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned…
For starters, tickets sold out within 15 minutes for this one-day event, which allowed scalpers to resell the tickets for as high as $800 a pop. That didn’t stop a legion of hardcore Pokémon fans from grabbing every ticket that they could from eBay, however, and it looked like the Pokémon Go Fest would be swarmed with enthusiastic players of the popular mobile game only a few days later.
The park was packed with Pokémon Go players who were chomping at the bit for the chance to capture a few unreleased Pokémon, try their hand at some event-exclusive challenges, and collect special medals, but the game was completely unplayable at the Pokémon Go Fest. According to Niantic, the game’s creators, there were three issues that plagued the event: a lack of bandwidth needed to allow the horde of Pokémon Masters to play at once, a particularly nasty bug that crashed the game, and a glitch that prevented players from logging in to the service.
Needless to say, those who paid hundreds of dollars to catch Pokémon weren’t too happy about the plague of problems, and things got a little heated.
There was a little bit of good news to come from Pokémon Go Fest: attendees were refunded for their tickets, and $100 in PokéCoins (the in-game currency used for microtransactions) will be credited to their accounts. Pokémon Go fans worldwide can now find Lugia and Articuno in the wild for a limited time, with the remaining legendary birds Moltres, Zapdos, and Ho-Oh to come to the app soon.
It’s unfortunate to see that such a popular game still suffers from connectivity issues and a handful of game-breaking bugs, but it is nice to see so many people go out to play together. I just hope that some of the fans brought their Nintendo DS systems so they could actually play some Pokémon at the festival!
Watch the video below:
[Language Warning, Slightly NSFW]