Following the failed Pokémon GO Fest on Saturday in Chicago, attendees and players around the world were left disappointed. Niantic was forced to give attendees US$100 worth of PokéCoins and US$20 entrance fee refund on top of the free Legendary Pokémon Lugia and Articuno. Niantic is now mulling over regret, pushing the blame on mobile carriers.
Niantic chief executive John Hanke has finally explained what went down on the ugly situation on Saturday at Grant Park. Hanke admitted that software glitches barred some attending trainers from connecting and playing Pokémon GO. However, he pinned down mobile carriers to have contributed largely to the fiasco following the mobile networks congestion.
In a blog post published on Niantic on Tuesday, Hanke said the software glitch was immediately settled, pointing that network overload was to blame.
"A more protracted problem was caused by oversaturation of the mobile data networks of some network providers," writes Hanke. "This caused many attendees to be unable to access Pokémon GO or other Internet services".
Hanke noted that Niantic has done its part to inform major carriers of the estimated number of attendees at the event as well as the requisite data to be used when the play goes live. In response, mobile networks deployed Cellular on Wheels to make sure the event is well-supported all throughout. Unfortunately, the server still went down.
After the event, Pokémon GO attendees and trainers took to Twitter to express their dismay over what had happened, while others were making fun of Niantic's unpreparedness. Still, Hanke said this event has instilled a few lessons for him and his team at Niantic.
Hanke is optimistic that they will be able to pull off a successful worldwide event in the future.
Pokémon GO Fest is the first-anniversary event of the augmented reality game.