Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Pokemon Go Dev Following Chicago Event Disaster

We previously reported on a new update coming to Pokemon Go, which launched alongside an official real-life meetup for players dubbed Pokemon Go Fest. That event went down in Chicago and was apparently a complete disaster, leaving thousands of players unable to play the game.

Now, we’ve learned (via Polygon) that nearly two dozen (at the time of publication) attendees of the event are filing suit against Niantic, the developer behind Pokemon Go. According to the report, the individuals are seeking travel reimbursement for the wasted time and money spent at the event.

Chicago-based attorney Thomas Zimmerman noted he was contacted by a California man, Jonathan Norton, who traveled there just to play a geotargeted smartphone game where you attempt to catch and battle digital monsters.

Since the initial report, Zimmerman has confirmed at least “20 or 30” other people have joined in on the class-action suit.

“He paid to fly out [to Chicago] for the festival, and had to wait for several hours in line, just like most everybody else in order to get in,” Zimmerman said. To be clear, Niantic is offering full refunds for tickets into their festival, which equate to $100 in-game credit, as well as the promised legendary Pokemon (which the event was centered on them catching).

“We’re not seeking any relief with respect to the failure to get legendary Pokémon, because Niantic is offering that,” Zimmerman noted. “But 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.”

Niantic also extended the amount of time and locations for users to catch legendary Pokemon, but haven’t commented on whether or not they’ll cover user travel expenses.

Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.