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$1.6M Settlement Over Pokemon Go-Less Pokemon Go Fest

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on April 06, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Pokemon Go Fest without Pokemon Go isn't much of a fest at all, as game creator Niantic quickly learned last summer. The first (and perhaps last) of its kind, the festival was held in Chicago's Grant Park and attracted over 20,000 of the game's most ardent fans. But, as attendee Andrew Goldfarb described, "for much of the day, most people couldn't even get the game to start, leaving them standing in the hot, crowded park with not much to do but wander aimlessly."

"Others could connect but found the game laggy and unresponsive," Goldfarb added, "or encountered crashes every time something good popped up." Of course, this led to quite a few lawsuits, most of which were settled by Niantic this week, to the tune of $1,575,000.

Gotta Compensate 'Em All

Niantic had attempted to placate angry attendees with full refunds, $100 worth of in-game PokeCoins, and an apology. It wasn't quite enough. The new settlement will go towards compensating attendees for their expenses, like travel, accommodation, and car rental. Any remaining funds will be split between the Illinois Bar foundation, and a Chicago nonprofit that organizes running programs for kids to promote their health and wellness.

But those looking to cash in on the settlement will have a couple hoops to jump through. You must have checked in to the event through the Pokémon Go app, and will need receipts for any expenses totaling more than $107.

Final Fest?

The glitchy festival, according to Goldfarb, represented everything both good and bad about Pokémon Go's first year. But Niantic may have learned its lesson. Engadget reports the company is focusing on smaller gatherings and community days rather than massive events.

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