Remember Pokémon GO Fest in 2017? Many do, and not in a positive light. Despite this notoriety, Niantic has decided to give it another go this Summer, with a full-weekend of Pokémon Go Fest 2018 this July. After what Niantic CEO John Hanke described in a statement as "a bumpy start," and a still-pending class-action lawsuit against the company, Many thought that we wouldn't see Pokémon GO Fest 2018 this year. But Niantic is giving it another go with a global tour, starting with a free event at Westfalenpark in Dortmund, Germany from June 30 to July 1. The Fest will then move to Lincoln Park in Chicago, the same state where last year's event took place, on July 14-15.
Attendees will be let loose on a 1.8-mile trail in Lincoln Park where they can track down rare Pokémon. There'll also be "exclusive activities" that Niantic is keeping quiet about over details, as well as physical guideposts. Niantic has alluded to another unannounced aspect of Pokémon GO Fest 2018. They've described it as "a unique and immersive gameplay experience not seen in any of Niantic’s previous live events.”
There's a reasonable dosage of skepticism to be had about Pokémon GO Fest 2018. The first iteration in 2017 was met with huge criticism and backlash, when attendees suffered from spotty cellular reception and experienced technical errors in-game that made it near-impossible to play. Niantic responded with a public apology and promised Pokémon GO Fest guests full refunds, free in-game currency, and even a complimentary Legendary Pokémon, Lugia.
In an interview with IGN, Hanke spoke about what they would do this year to avoid the same blunder. “All of the major carriers are deploying COWs (Cells on Wheels), so there will be mobile network hotspots from all the major carriers set up in such a way that we believe we will have full coverage, efficient coverage, for everybody throughout the park,” Hanke said.
Tickets for Pokémon GO Fest 2018 will be up for sale at 9am PT on May 11, and you can grab them on the event website.