Even at the height of its popularity, Pokémon Go wasn’t exactly known for its stability. For a lot of people, it was a game that they tolerated because it seemed like fun, not a game that actually was fun. Unsurprisingly, this weekend’s Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago’s Grant Park was similarly troubled, with servers and cellphone providers getting slammed so hard that the game was literally unplayable. This would be frustrating for players anyway, but one of the selling points for Pokémon Go Fest was that it would be one of the first and only places where people could catch rare legendary monsters and collect special bonus items, so if the game couldn’t be played, it meant that none of that could be unlocked.
According to Game Informer, people at the fest were so angry that they began taking it out on developer Niantic, with CEO John Hanke getting booed when he tried to get onstage and explain to people what was going on. Kotaku dug into that a little more, reporting that angry fans were also complaining on social media about endless, unmoving lines just to get into the park:
Supposedly, Niantic even tried to appease people by offering full refunds and $100 worth of in-game PokéCoins that could be used to buy items. The studio also expanded the range of the fest’s special events, so attendees could still access the rare Pokémon without having to huddle together in Grant Park.
At this point, it doesn’t seem like Pokémon Go Fest was organized by Fyre Festival masterminds Billy McFarland and Ja Rule, but that’s only because people aren’t trapped in the park and fighting over scraps of food yet.
[Note: Kotaku, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.]