Pokemon Gamers Boo Event Organizer For Lack of Cellular Coverage
Pokemon Go players in Chicago’s Grant Park were upset and vocal about it Saturday when they were prevented from logging into the game due to an overload placed on the carriers in the vicinity. Up to 20,000 players had been anticipated at the event, marking the one-year anniversary of the augmented reality game’s debut. Players use GPS to locate, capture, battle and train virtual creatures, according to Fox News Tech.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that game developer, Niantic’s CEO John Hanke was booed when he tried to address the crowd regarding the lack of connectivity. Hanke said “the whole Niantic team” was working with carriers AT&T, Sprint and Verizon to fix a glitch in the server and resulting log-on problems.
One participant told the Sun-Times he was surprised that Niantic hadn’t brought in equipment to improve cellular coverage in the park, adding, “I didn’t expect it to go well.”
The Sun Times reported that Niantic’s chief marketing officer instructed AT&T customers to migrate toward a specific cell tower near a corner of the park and suggested that everyone try using WiFi. “Obviously, today has not gone as planned,” Mike Quigley told reporters, according to the Chicago Tribune. “It has been a really unfortunate situation.”
Early in the afternoon, Niantic announced that organizers would refund the event’s original $20 ticket cost and receive $100 in credits for use on the Pokemon Go app.
Some in attendance paid as much as $400 online for the tickets when they sold out within minutes of their June release, Fox News Tech reported.
Niantic says Pokemon Go has been downloaded 750 million times.