By now you probably all know the disaster that was the Pokemon GO [Free] Fest in Chicago, with our very own Eli posting a minute by minute of the mobile equivalent of the Hindenburg disaster. After giving refunds and trying to make up for the disaster, Niantic posted a lengthy apology that further details how the Chicago Fest became a disaster for the ages. The post first takes responsibility for some of the client crashes that interfered with people's ability to log in and play the game and states how those issues were fixed with a server configuration change. However, the biggest problem (the post continues) was the oversaturation of the mobile data networks of some network providers, which resulted in many attendees being unable to log into the game.

Interestingly, Niantic says that it provided detailed estimated on attendance and required data throughput per user to its event partner, who then worked with the major carriers so they could in turn ensure there would be adequate carrier. Some of the carriers deployed mobile cellular towers to extend their capacity while others felt that the pre-existing infrastructure would handle it fine.

While the post stops short of blaming any provider directly, there are definitely some hints that Niantic wasn't exactly happy with the performance of the carriers. The post ends on a positive note, talking about the great response they got once they released the Legendary Pokemon. Niantic states that it has learned from the Chicago Fest incident and will make sure to improve future events. I suppose it remains to be seen.

  • baldeagle86

    Just keep this event bonus permanent, there's a start! 🙂

  • Zephram

    Thank God people don't rely on data networks for 911 calls; Headline: person dies of heart attack because players were hunting an effin Pokemon!

  • PartyDown

    Mobile equivalent of the Hindenburg disaster?

    The same one where 36 people died in a giant ball of fire?

    No, you must be referring to a different Hindenburg disaster because that would be a really stupid comparison.

    Really, really stupid.

  • Chai Chien Liang

    What disaster? A lot of the players never even made it to go fest, so probably around 20,000 people are angry at Niantic?

    • Eli Hodapp

      Right but those 20,000 players all willing to pay anywhere between $20 to $2,000+ to go to the event represent Niantic's base of highly influential players and whales, i.e. a group that's real bad for business to piss off.

      • Chai Chien Liang

        Seems like some were angry enough to start a lawsuit....eeep you're right

  • David Cohen

    It isn't an apology, it is a fauxpology. It is full of statements that express no remorse and divert blame. Bigging up the numbers in the same post is also quite icky.