Last year saw app developer Niantic organize a huge outdoor festival to celebrate the first anniversary of Pokémon Go. Sadly, it all went horribly wrong. Now, the company has settled a lawsuit over the event for $1.575 million.
Niantic was probably hoping the festival would reignite media interest in the AR game, which had cooled since Pokémon Go took the world by storm back in 2016. But the headlines weren’t what the company had hoped for.
20,000 people turned up for the festival, most of whom faced incredibly long queues just to get in and out of the event. But that was only the tip of the iceberg. Attendees faced connectivity problems because of server issues and overloaded cell towers, meaning most of them couldn’t even play the game.
Niantic tried to placate angry visitors by refunding their ticket costs, offering them the first legendary Pokémon, $100 of in-game Pokécoins, and more. But this wasn’t enough for those who paid hundreds of dollars for tickets from resellers or spent even more on travel and accommodation.
One California man who traveled to Chicago for the event filed a class action lawsuit against Niantic, and it has now agreed to pay $1,575,000 to reimburse attendees for costs such as airfares, hotels, mileage, car rental, etc.
TechCrunch reports that an official website for the settlement should arrive by May 25 this year. Attendees will receive an email letting them know when it’s up. To prevent scalpers from making even more money, those claiming part of the settlement will need to have checked in to GO Fest through the game. If you want to claim more than $107 in expenses, you’ll need receipts.
If any money from the settlement is left over after everyone has been paid, it will be donated to the Illinois Bar Foundation and the nonprofit organization Chicago Run.