The planned events during Pokémon Go Fest ended in failure ultimately resulting in Niantic releasing the Legendary Pokémon Lugia and Articuno, early.
For those who either skipped the augmented reality Pokémon game craze or stopped playing the mobile game, Saturday, July 22, Niantic hosted the world’s first Pokémon Go Festival in Chicago’s Grant Park.
The event was meant to celebrate the highly anticipated release of a legendary Pokémon into the game. The original agenda set out by Niantic involved a series of special challenges, raids and tiered events meant to foster and cater to the hardcore Pokémon Go players in attendance. Due to major issues with Wi-Fi, many players were unable to connect to the internet, or even play the game, with the exception of those who happened to subscribe to Sprint mobility.
The technical troubles that plagued the event got so bad that Niantic’s on stage presence on the stage ushered in waves of boos, sprinkled in with demands for service. Ultimately, Niantic offered an apology in the form of $100 in-game credits, refunds for their tickets and the release of the Legendary Pokémon Lugia and Articuno.
The Legendary pair of bird Pokémon were originally planned to be the show closer, a special Raid level encounter which would then globally be available 24 hours later, however due to all the technical issues, Niantic made the move of releasing the sought after Legendary critters early.
The release of Lugia and Articuno saved the event from utter disaster, fans in attendance swarmed Gyms in the area, that moments ago were vacant of any signs of life.
The early release of the Legendary Pokémon seemed to reinvigorate the anemic event, capturing the excitement and sense of wonder Pokémon Go had when it first launched in 2016.