Pokemon Go Fest is officially in disaster control mode. There are multiple reports that a Niantic executive just announced at the event that they would be refunding everyone who attended Pokemon Go Fest for their cost of admission, as well as give out $100 in PokeCoins to every attendee.
Due to degraded experience on overtaxed cell networks, Niantic will be offering full refunds to GO Fest ticket holders + $100 in PokeCoins.— The Silph Road (@TheSilphRoad) July 22, 2017
The event will still go on despite the issues until 7 PM Central time.
Of course, a $20 refund and $100 of in-game currency doesn't offset the hundreds of dollars many fans paid in travel and lodging costs. And since Pokemon Go Fest catered to the most dedicated of Pokemon Go players, the event's failure could seriously hurt Pokemon Go's userbase and reputation moving forward.
The mass refunds became necessary due to widespread network issues plaguing the event. Niantic identified three issues: a lack of bandwidth support from carriers, widespread login issues, and a big that caused the game to crash for attendees.
Fans are so perturbed that they booed Niantic CEO John Hanke when he took to the stage to explain the issues surrounding Pokemon GO Fest. There are also allegedly chants of "Fix the game," and "Fix the servers" breaking out every few minutes.
Players are also reporting lines of up to two and a half hours to get into the event, in part due to a complicated registration system designed to keep spoofers from accessing the game's perks.
Because of the refunds, it's unclear whether Niantic still plans to move forward with the Legendary Pokemon Raid, which was supposed to serve as the climax of the event. If Niantic unlocked the Legendary Pokemon Raid and then didn't have the support to let players access it, they could have a riot on their hands.
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