Pokémon Go Fest Uses Self-Destruct, It Was Super Effective

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2016-07-06
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The legendary birds are coming to Pokémon Go this weekend Nintendo News

Pokémon Go Fest, Niantic’s first giant live event for the AR phenomenon, has been an unmitigated disaster. Trainers from around the world traveled to Chicago for a chance at rare Pokémon and cool events, which resulted in a gathering the likes which has never been seen before.

20,000 people showed up, most of which can’t even play the game. It turns out when that many people are gathered in one place, it’s pretty hard for cell towers to keep up. Tweets from people at the park with AT&T and Verizon say they can’t even get into the game.

The situation has gotten so bad, that people in the crowd got a little crazy. CEO Of Niantic, John Hanke, was booed by the crowd when he introduced the show on stage. Chants of “we can’t play” were belted by the thousands in attendance. A water bottle was thrown at the announcer , but thankfully missed her. Everyone involved, from the frantic Niantic employees sharing small updates to the bored people in attendance, don’t seem to be having a good time.

Niantic tried to handle the situation the best they could, but the damage had already been done. For now, the catch radius of rare exclusive Pokémon like Unown and Heracross has been extended by two miles around the park and will last until Monday. All attendees will also receive a refund for their ticket plus 100 dollars worth of Pokecoins, which is just a nice way to try and appease an angry mob.

The Twitch stream , which I was honestly pretty excited to watch, has been cutting in and out for hours. All I’ve seen is a loading screen for hours on end, Charizard just taunting me with the fun he’s having. Still, there have been little bits of hilarity throughout the day scattered between the dozens of reruns of the same Trainer Tips video —a n interview with an overly enthusiastic Team Mystic trainer saying that the event was a “great success” was my personal favorite.

Pokémon Go fans will have a hard time forgiving Niantic for this one. Testing out their servers for 20,000 people just wasn’t possible, but extra cell towers or using a larger park might have been a good idea. This is just another way trainers can vilify the company that “only wants to take money from their fans,” even if that isn’t necessarily true. Niantic wanted to put on an amazing event, but some things are just impossible to predict.

Just look at what people are saying on Twitter about one of the most poorly run festivals since Ja Rule’s Fyre Festival.

Here’s a video of the massive horde of people inside chanting “we can’t play.”

Players around the world will soon get access to Lugia at certain raids. Niantic can move our eyes away from the giant shit they just took on the bed if they offered us a shiny Zapdos colored necklace.

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