The first official Pokémon Go event ended in disaster, after attendees who had queued hours for access into Grant Park, Chicago, were left Pokémon-less due to connection issues.
Developer Niantic was set to unveil the game’s first legendary Pokémon, Lugia, but the overload on mobile phone networks meant players struggled to find enough signal, made worse by the game’s server struggling to cope with the volume of worldwide users attempting challenges.
An apologetic Niantic has promised to refund attendees the $20 entrance fee they paid, top their accounts up with $100 worth of Pokécoins – the game’s currency – as well as give them Lugia.
The issues were evident even before the event began; at 6am, four hours before it was due to start, players were complaining that they couldn’t log in to the game. Booed onto the stage eight hours later, Niantic employees recognised that there was a problem.
“This is not the day that we had all envisioned, but we appreciate your patience,” chief marketing officer Mike Quigley told the annoyed audience.
Although the area around the park containing rare Pokémon had been expanded by two miles, it wasn’t enough to alleviate the connection issues.
However, as Team Mystic won the overall competition, mascot Articuno is now available to catch within the game. Differently to normal Pocket Monsters, though, both legendary Pokémon can only be caught by players who join together in so-called ‘Raids’.
Have you managed to catch a Lugia or Articuno yet? Let us know in the comments section below.