Niantic, the company behind smartphone game “Pokémon Go,” has been hit with a proposed class-action lawsuit over its troublesome event last week in Chicago that attracted 20,000 Pokemon Go players from around the world.
The “Pokémon Go FEST,” the first event of its kind, was billed as a chance for thousands of gamers to meet and catch rare pokémon in a live setting.
But it was marred by queues to get in and technical issues that left some attendees unable to play the game or access the internet. Business Insider’s Alex Heath got pictures from inside the event and detailed the issues first-hand, including problems with the game’s server, which started to buckle under the pressure of so many players in one area.
Niantic subsequently apologised to angry fans and refunded attendees for their $US20 tickets.
One gamer, Jonathan Norton, has now brought a class-action complaint against the company, Ars Technia reports.
Norton travelled from California to Chicago for the event, according to his legal team’s court filings, filed on July 27 in Illinois’ Cook County Circuit Court. The lawsuit continues: “the reality of the Fest fell flat in comparison to [Niantic’s] promises. Upon reaching Grant Park, Fest attendees encountered a ‘3 mile line,’ and an ‘unplayable’ Game.”
You can read the full court filing below.
The lawsuit, which is seeking unspecified damages, argues: “Had those people who purchased tickets (and paid money for travel expenses) to attend the fest… known that they would not be able to play the Game as advertised, they would not have purchased tickets or paid money to travel to and attend the Fest.”
Niantic did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment outside of US business hours.
On Saturday, the company announced that it was postponing European events due to be held in August “until a date later in the Fall.” There were events scheduled for August 5 in Copenhagen and Prague, and for August 12 in Stockholm and Amsterdam.
“We apologise for any inconvenience and hope you understand that our priority is to ensure a great experience for Pokémon GO Trainers in Europe and around the world,” Niantic said on its website. “As a special surprise, we understand that some Pokémon that are rarely seen in Europe will be appearing soon in certain European cities for a brief time. Keep your eyes peeled!”
Here’s the full court filing:
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