Pokémon GO Fest took place in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois just last week to celebrate the mobile game’s first anniversary. However, the event was not without its share of problems, with technical difficulties resulting in attendees being unable to play the game and participate in the event for the majority of the day.
Niantic CEO John Hanke has commented on the Fest’s problems over on the company’s official blog. Hanke addressed the many issues that had plagued the event, citing network congestion and “an oversaturation of the mobile data networks of some network providers” as key reasons to why many players were unable to access the game.
Here’s more of Hanke’s comments on the technical issues from Pokémon GO Fest:
“What happened? Technical issues with our game software caused client crashes and interfered with gameplay for some users. The gameplay issue was resolved with a server configuration change and the crashes were also addressed for many but not all users. A more protracted problem was caused by oversaturation of the mobile data networks of some network providers. This caused many attendees to be unable to access Pokémon GO or other Internet services. Network congestion also led to a login issue which affected some users able to access the Internet. This latency-related login issue was addressed with a second Niantic configuration change.
On the pure network access issue, we provided detailed estimates on attendance and required data throughput per user to our event partner who worked with the major carriers to allow them to plan for adequate coverage. Some carriers deployed Cellular on Wheels (COWs) to extend their capacity. In other cases the providers deemed them unnecessary based on other infrastructure already in place at the site. Users reported different levels of success with these providers. Wifi was enabled by one provider as a solution which helped some users but not all. Sprint was onsite as an official partner, deployed a COW, and their network was busy but held up well. Although many players were able to play normally for the majority of the day, many were not, and based on that we made a number of adjustments to the event plan.”
However, once the problems were eventually resolved, players in Chicago ended the event with a total of 7.7 million Pokémon and over 440,000 Legendary Pokémon captured. The players participating around the world managed to catch more than 500 million Pokémon, including more than 1.9 million Legendary Pokémon.
Lastly, CEO John Hanke confirmed a timeframe for the release of both Moltres and Zapdos, while Lugia and Articuno are already available in the mobile game. As for Moltres, the Legendary bird Pokémon will be available between July 31st and August 7th, while Zapdos is planned between August 8th and August 14th. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the distribution period for Articuno will end on July 31st.
To read the full blog post from Niantic’s John Hanke, you can go here.
Pokémon GO is available for iOS and Android devices.