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Pokemon Go Fest attendees are filing a class-action lawsuit against Niantic

July 28th, 2017 at 1:09 PM
Pokemon Go Fest class-action lawsuit

Niantic has spent the past week apologizing for the disaster that was the Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago, but for some attendees, an apology isn’t enough. Polygon reports that “nearly two dozen” of the players who attended the event are filing a class-action suit against Niantic, seeking travel reimbursement.

Shortly after the event began last Saturday, players started running into connectivity issues, keeping them from logging into the game to participate in the festivities. Fans of Pokemon Go from all over the country (and the world) booked paid for travel specifically to get to the event, and yet were unable to play Pokemon Go once they arrived. Jonathan Norton, from California, was one of these individuals.

Chicago-based attorney Thomas Zimmerman tells Polygon that he was contacted by Norton after the event. Since that call, 20 or 30 other attendees have joined in the class-action suit against Niantic.

“He paid to fly out [to Chicago] for the festival, and had to wait for several hours in line, just like most everybody else in order to get in,” Zimmerman said. By purchasing a ticket to the event, Norton was promised that he would have the chance to catch rare Pokemon, but he couldn’t even connect to the game. Zimmerman says that this isn’t what Niantic advertised.

In order to make amends with the frustrated players who paid to attend the event, everyone received a refund for their $20 ticket, $100 of in-game credit and had a Legendary Pokemon added to their account. But that’s not going to cut it for some who spent hundreds on a flight to Chicago.

“We’re not seeking any relief with respect to the failure to get legendary Pokémon, because Niantic is offering that,” Zimmerman told Polygon. “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.”

A spokesperson from Niantic told Polygon that the company “does not comment on pending legal matters,” but we have a feeling this isn’t the last we’ll hear about this case.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.




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