It was more like PokémonNo GO.
A sold out event in Chicago’s Grant Park to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Niantic Labs’ augmented reality mobile sensation Pokémon Go, turned into a disaster on Saturday when spotty cellular coverage and other technical snags prevented fans of the game from logging in.
Niantic CEO John Hanke was met with a chorus of boos from the crowd when he took the stage during the event.
Niantic issued a statement apologizing to the thousands of people who attended Pokémon Go Fest and promised those who registered a full refund for the $20 face value cost of their tickets, with details to come via email. That may do little to satisfy some attendees who reportedly paid scalper prices as high as $400.
The company also plans to issue in-game credits (in the form of PokéCoins) to registered attendees worth up to $100, as well as bolster the range to a two-mile radius surrounding Grand Park where enthusiasts through Monday morning can chase Pokémon.
As a final remedy, Niantic will add “legendary” Pokémonthe accounts of attendees, including a rare Pokémon character named Lugia.
Niantic claims 65 million monthly active users for Pokémon Go, down from an August 2016 viral peak of 100 million, according to the Apptopia research firm.That’s still a formidable sum compared to Candy Crush Saga (61 million) and Clash Royale (8.5 million).
Apptopia says Pokémon Go has generated $1.2 billion in revenue, helping part-owner Nintendo bolster its brand and bottom line.