Way back in 2017, Niantic attempted to have a gathering of Pokemon trainers in real life at the first (and likely only) ever Pokemon Go Fest. However, things didn’t go well, and now Niantic has to pay a nearly two million dollar settlement for a Pokemon Go Fest lawsuit they got.
Though Pokemon Go Fest was ambitious and would have likely helped to keep more interest in Pokemon Go had it gone off, Niantic made the same mistake that they did when the game first came out; overestimating the amount of bandwidth that the venue’s internet could handle at once. With 20,000 attendees all attempting to play the game in one spot, the internet couldn’t keep up.
The game crashed frequently and in many cases left people completely unable to play, making the event a total bust. Niantic issued full refunds to all of the festival’s attendees along with a hundred dollars’ worth of PokeCoins (Pokemon Go’s in game currency) and issued an apology.
It wasn’t enough for many of the festival goers, however. The $1.6 million Pokemon Go Fest lawsuit is mainly Niantic having to cover the costs of travel, accommodations, car rental, and various other expenses of all of the attendees.
Thankfully, despite the failure of the festival, Pokemon Go has been putting out a steady stream of content since its launch despite a drop-off in players compared to its extremely popular beginnings. Various new Pokemon from other generations, raids for particularly powerful gyms, and now legendary Pokemon like Mew and story missions might be added as well.
Hopefully if Niantic ever decides to do any sort of event like this again, they’ll make sure that people can actually play the game to avoid another Pokemon Go Fest lawsuit. In the meantime if you still play Pokemon Go or have gotten back into it recently, see if you can catch one of the many new Pokemon that have been added.