Good news for Pokémon Go fans in Europe: Niantic has announced new dates for the events in Europe that were postponed following the disastrous outcome of the first-ever Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago in July.
The events — dubbed ‘Pokémon GO Safari Zone’ — will be held as follows:
October 7, 2017
Centrum Černý Most—Prague, The Czech Republic
October 14, 2017
Mall of Scandinavia—Stockholm, Sweden
Stadshart Amstelveen—Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Those are in addition to others which remain on course to take place this month:
September 16, 2017
Unibail-Rodamco Shopping Centres located at CentrO in Oberhausen (Germany), Les Quatre Temps in Paris (France) and La Maquinista in Barcelona (Spain)
The events are designed to bring a community feel to Pokémon Go by encouraging people to get outdoors to collect rare Pokémon, and compete in battles and raids.
That’s the plan at least. Unfortunately the Chicago event — the first of its kind — was a gigantic mess.
Around 20,000 people attended the weekend event, including many visitors who flew in, but technical issues upstaged the hype and broke the event. Most of the attendees unable to access the service as servers crashed under the load and local cell towers struggled to handle the demands of so many players in the same place.
Niantic issued refunds — in the form of $100 of virtual currency inside Pokémon Go — but that didn’t stop some disgruntled fans from filing a class-action lawsuit because they had shelled out on traveling to Chicago without knowing it would be a write-off.
The company hasn’t said anything new today about how it plans to ensure the issues will not be repeated in Europe. At the time of the postponement of the first events — which were initially scheduled for August — it said it needed more time “to ensure a great experience for Pokémon GO Trainers in Europe and around the world.”
The events are increasingly important for Niantic.
Pokémon GO was a smash-hit last year, with Apple revealing it to be it the most-downloaded iOS app of 2016, but interest has cooled significantly this year. The app is still among the top 50 in the App Store and millions still play it every day, but it has been reported that four out of five users have quit.