If you read my previous article regarding Pokemon Go-Fest, you might notice that some people were unhappy with the entire experience. People came all over the world to Chicago to catch Legendary Pokemon and experience an event dedicated to a game they enjoy on a daily basis. But constant game failures, lack of response, long lines in summer heat and slow fixes led to a complete event failure for Niantic. To apologize, they refunded all the attendees, gave them $100 worth of in-game currency, and Lugia. It was inevitable that somebody would sue Niantic and the first person was Jonathan Norton from California. Thomas Zimmerman is a Chicago lawyer who is supporting his and other people’s cases.
Since Jonathan’s first lawsuit, 20 – 30 lawsuits have followed as of July 27. They are mostly suing for negligence and Niantic not refunding participants’ plane ride ticket to Chicago. Zimmerman stated
“Niantic is not offering to refund people’s travel expenses for coming to Chicago. Most of the people came from out of state, many people from other countries — I talked to someone who flew in from Japan.”
While Niantic did extend the time of the event and increase the range for catching Pokemon, Zimmerman stated it wasn’t enough. He stated
“The issue is, what was promised, what was the incentive that people relied on and the representations that people relied on to buy a ticket and make travel plans and fly to Chicago to participate in this festival, would they have done that had they known that that was not going to be lived up to and they weren’t going to get the experience that was represented?”
I personally think that paying for everyone’s plane ride ticket is too much. Yes, the event failed to meet anybody’s expectations but if you purchase a ticket, there is always a risk. This is the same for any concerts or any outdoor events. Regardless of how awful it is, companies don’t owe you for the trip because they didn’t plan the ride.
Do you think Niantic should refund participants for their plane tickets? Or do you think this is too much?