The saga of Niantic Labs’ Pokémon GO Fest continues after the technical issues experienced at the event disappointed many of the attendees. While Niantic has promised refunds and in-game currency as a way of an apology, some don’t feel that it is enough.
California based fan Jonathan Norton hired a Chicago attorney Thomas Zimmerman to file a lawsuit against Niantic Labs to reimburse attendees for travel expenses. Some fans had come from as far away as Japan to attend Pokémon GO Fest only to be disappointed when cell carriers collapsed under the concentrated load followed by game server issues.
Zimmerman wrote in the lawsuit
We’re not seeking any relief with respect to the failure to get legendary Pokémon, because Niantic is offering that. But Niantic is not offering to refund people’s travel expenses for coming to Chicago. Most of the people came from out of state, many people from other countries — I talked to someone who flew in from Japan.
The issue is, what was promised, what was the incentive that people relied on and the representations that people relied on to buy a ticket and make travel plans and fly to Chicago to participate in this festival, would they have done that had they known that that was not going to be lived up to and they weren’t going to get the experience that was represented?