I don’t even know where to begin on the failures of the Pokemon GO Fest in Chicago – the proper planning for getting so many people together appears to have been missing.

For those who are not following the developments, the live event has been plagued a a loss of connectivity for the players present on site – the volume of cellphones in one location bringing both Niantic servers and the local cell network to their knees.

With a lack of communication or fix in the works, when Niantic’s CEO took to the stage they were roundly booed at their own event. The only turn in the mood of the crowd came when a refund of the event tickets and and additional $100 in PokeCoins would be issued to attendees.

Secondly, the much touted livestream to tie in the global playerbase to the event was (and continues to be) a total joke – the bulk of the content being a basic splash screen (see above) and random crowd noise. The first portion showed progress bars with no detail or information on what they represented and even when presenters do turn up for actual content, they seem to be gone five minutes later. It was pitiful to see a static splash screen on the Twitch front page.

How could they have done better?

Firstly, to address the connectivity issues onsite there was an urgent need for more mobile cellphone towers (if they were present at all). I will never understand why they didn’t liaise with cellphone companies to ensure connectivity was viable – they knew how many people were going, and that everyone would be on cellphones.

For the livestream, they needed to hire a proper event team – perhaps bring in Twitch’s own Events Team to run the streaming. It was hopeful that we could at least watch and feel like we were there with them, but the lack of quality engagement and content left a sour taste in my mouth.

I just cannot believe a company can get such a special event so wrong – I feel it is apparent that they have no idea what their players want, and are completely oblivious to their community.


Heather "gentlestar" Barber

Staff Writer at MMO Central
A proud mother of her little xenomorph, located in Ohio, Heather likes playing MMO's for the sheer fun of it and disdains anything that feels like a second job. You can often find her stopping to admire the scenery, before jumping down the throat of whatever mob she's enjoying decimating next!

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