Nation & World

Despite Last Year's Disastrous Showing, 'Pokemon Go' Fest Returns to Chicago

By Stefanie Fogel

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) — Last year’s Pokemon Go Fest was a disaster (to put it mildly), but Niantic is giving it another go. It just announced it’s bringing the event back to Chicago this summer.

Pokemon Go Fest 2018 takes place July 14-15 in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. A 1.8-mile walking course through the park will include physical installations and activities for trainers, Niantic said. Rare Pokemon will also make appearances in surrounding areas of the city. Tickets for the event go on sale May 11 at 9 a.m. PDT for $20.

Pokemon Go Fest 2018 is part of what Niantic is dubbing the “Pokemon Go Summer Tour.” The season-long celebration kicks off with the Pokemon Go Safari Zone Dortmund in Germany July 30-July 1. It takes place in Westfalenpark, one of the largest inner-city parks in Europe. The event is free and open to everyone who wants to attend. Later in the summer, Niantic will hold another Safari Zone in Yokosuka, Japan. It will reveal more about that event at a later date.

“The Pokemon Go Summer Tour 2018 is set to bring trainers together around the world for fun, exploration and adventure,” said Niantic CEO and founder John Hanke. “After getting off to a bumpy start in Chicago last year, we hosted a number of record-setting events in Japan, Korea, and cities across Europe with attendance that ranged from tens of thousands to more than 2 million. We are excited to be returning to Chicago for our U.S. event.”

Niantic reportedly settled a lawsuit over the first Pokemon Go Fest in April. A California man filed the class action suit in July 2017 after he claimed the event didn’t live up to its promises. It was supposed to be a celebration of the developer’s popular augmented reality game, but it was plagued with connectivity issues. At one point, unhappy fans booed Hanke while he was on stage. The developer reportedly settled for an estimated $1,575,000.

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