Niantic, the developer behind the hit mobile game Pokemon Go, attempted to bring gamers an epic festival experience last year in Chicago. The exact opposite happened. In July 2017, Niantic hosted the anime-centric festival in Chicago’s Grant Park. The turnout was enormous, and the servers might as well have just been taken fline during the event. Players who traveled states, and in some cases countries, to attend the event experienced constant crashes to the game, while others were not able to log in at all. Because the catastrophe, Niantic settled a $1.5 million dollar lawsuit this year, and will pay gamers back for their travel expenses and wasted time.
Second time’s a charm, right? Pokémon Go Fest 2018 will take place on July 14 and July 15 in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. In an interview with IGN, Niantic CEO John Hanke explained how his company plans on making this year’s experience a success. “We made some changes to the way we plan the event,” Hanke stated. “We organized it so that everybody wasn’t concentrated in the same place all the time, and, you know, we made it. There were some close calls that week. There were some times when the network slowed down, but it never went fline, and it was a huge success.”
The successful event he referred to was Yokohama’s Pokemon Go event which hosted 2 million people, in comparison to Chicago’s 30,000 people. This year’s event will feature a 2-mile-long course through Lincoln Park, instead standstill .5-square mile area like last year. The movement will help mobile carriers to process faster. Gyms and PokeStops will be scattered along the course, and Niantic will also change the course in real time if one area becomes too cluttered, which slows down servers. Niantic will “closely monitor what’s happening in Lincoln Park itself and then to dial up the attractiveness other areas if for some reason there’s a problem there.” Sounds like a plan.