Niantic has agreed to pay out more than $1.5 million as part of a settlement for a class action suit filed by the dismayed attendees of its botched Pokémon GO festival last July. The amount will be used to refund the costs participants paid for various things including hotel accommodations, airfare, car rentals, parking fees, and other costs they may have incurred during the failed event.
It is, perhaps, worth remembering that dozens of the Pokemon GO fest attendees said in July last year that they would sue Niantic, the augmented reality (AR) game’s developer, for failing to deliver a number of promises it made to players such as the chance to catch rare pocket monsters. The event, however, did not go as planned because busy networks made it impossible to play the game. Set in Chicago at Grant Park, the festival attracted some 20,000 fans who were made to hope they would be able to capture legendary Pokemon Lugia, but congested networks got in the way and rendered the game unplayable. A few hours before the event was scheduled to begin, players started complaining about connectivity issues and the difficulty of logging in to the game. However, what initially appeared to have been caused by network issues due to the large throng of players were actually server issues on Niantic’s part, according to Verizon, which helped Niantic plan the event. To make amends with the disgruntled attendees, Niantic offered to refund the $20 players had paid for the event’s ticket price and provided them with $100 worth of Pokecoins. Additionally, Niantic offered a Pokemon Lugia to all fans who registered for the special event.
Official documents from a court in Chicago indicated that participants of the Pokémon GO Fest will be notified about the settlement through an official website planned to be created by May 25 along with an email. It’s also worth pointing out that the settlement includes terms and conditions for who should be able to receive reimbursements. According to the court documents, eligible players are those who have actually checked in to the event via the official game and those who are claiming more than $107 in refund must be able to present official receipts as valid proof of expenses.