Niantic planned to host a big Pokemon Go-themed bash for the game’s first birthday, but instead, the event flopped. Fans looked forward to playing the game among others who liked it. Upon attempting to participate in the festivities, fans soon found that they were unable to connect to the servers, for starters. Problems continued with frequent technical difficulties, server unresponsiveness, and shoddy excuses from Niantic themselves.
While Pokemon Go Fest was the most recent in a lineup of bad conventions, we have to take into account what the event was celebrating. Pokemon Go has been broken since its initial release. In its first week players experienced bad connections, server overloads, and inaccurate GPS tracking. As I’ve detailed before, Niantic has repeatedly ignored the problems the game has and instead implemented an anti-cheat system. Against everyone that has a rooted Android phone, that is, regardless if it came that way from a manufacturer or not.
Since the problems occurred yesterday, Niantic has made strides to soothe players’ wounds. Not only were attendees of the failed festival gifted with $100 worth of in-game currency to be redeemed in the future, but were treated to increased spawn rates of rare Pokemon in downtown Chicago upon scanning a QR code at the event.
Still, it goes to show just how out of touch Niantic is with the development of the game. Players don’t want to see spectacles. Make a game as flashy and presentable if you want (Pokemon Go’s UI, for one thing, has never been either) but make sure your game works. There’s a reason the falloff of regular players. If you want to bring the most popular mobile game ever back to life, squash the bugs and make it solid. Don’t introduce extras dependent on broken mechanics.
Cover image via Pokemon Go Live.