Not me, it's you! Verizon blames Niantic for the Pokémon Go Fest trainwreck
Niantic is beefing up last year's hit Pokemon GO game with the biggest updates since its inception, adding extra features as if there is no tomorrow, and it is bound to make some mishaps along the way, given the game's scale, with millions of players hitting the augmented reality world of Pokemon critters every day. The grandest mishap so far happened during the real-life event in Chicago over the weekend, dubbed Pokemon GO Fest, which was supposed to gather thousands of trainers for unorthodox treats and challenging gameplay that was supposed to unlock many of the legendary Pokemons players have been lusting about for a year now.
What happened? Well, good ol' connectivity glitches prevented the majority of trainers to access the game for long periods of time, not to mention standing in line for hours to enter the confines of the park where the event held place. Those on Sprint and T-Mobile connections seemingly had the least trouble, while Verizon customers, as the most numerous cohort there, had real issues with connectivity.
Probed about the traumatic data guzzling experience, a Verizon spokesman actually placed the blame squarely on Niantic. "This was not a Verizon issue," they said, citing the carrier's engineers who probed the event afterwards, and "reported that even when attendees were experiencing issues accessing the game itself, other applications like YouTube worked just fine - which indicated the issues were outside of Verizon's control, like an issue with the game's server itself."
It turns out that, as with any major event, Verizon tasked its local engineers to boost the carrying capacity of its network over the spot, and they did, which should have been more than enough to cover the Raid battles for legendary Pokemon during Chicago's Fest. Even after fortifying the network, though, problems with cell connectivity lag could still be on the carrier. Given Niantic's issues with server capacity that the CEO himself said are the culprit behind a slower-than-expected rollout of major additions, though, it's not out of the question that the Pokemon GO's servers might have had issues with all the localized niceties they had to spit out for the first time.
In any case, Niantic issued refunds and showered the trainers who traveled from all over the US, and even abroad, with gifts as a compensation. Then it released two legendary Pokemon out in the open, and now the only major problem everyone is talking about is how hard they are to catch, even after gathering ten trainers to take them down. Well, those are legendaries, after all, so it makes sense that not everyone will be allowed to carry them in their quiver, what do you think?