Pokemon GO developer Niantic has confirmed that Pokemon GO Fest will be returning this summer. Players of the hugely popular mobile game will be able to celebrate the title and catch ’em all alongside thousands of others, enjoying what will (hopefully) be a pleasant day out at Lincoln Park in Chicago, IL. However, those trying to get tickets for the event haven’t had it so easy, with technical problems spoiling the fun.
Tickets for Pokemon GO Fest 2018 went on sale today, with single-day passes being available for $20. The sale opened at 9AM PST but some players who visited the site at that time say that technical problems prevented them from buying tickets. Site lockups when trying to complete transactions were noted by plenty of fans, and attempts to load the site using different browsers were also unsuccessful.
Within 30 minutes, tickets to the event had sold out, leaving many Pokemon GO players and YouTube content creators disappointed. But their loss is ticket scalpers’ gain and a quick search for “Pokemon GO Fest 2018” on eBay turns up several results. There’s a listing for two tickets that is currently sitting at $5,100 with 49 bids as of this writing, and that price doesn’t include the $20 shipping fee, just to add insult to injury. The cheapest price seems to be $200, with many listings hovering around the $500 mark.
There are significant risks involved in buying resold tickets. In the case of Pokemon GO Fest 2017, some people were unable to get their money back from Niantic because they had purchased their tickets from re-sellers and were therefore ineligible for a refund.
The technical issues surrounding the Pokemon GO Fest 2018 website are nowhere near as severe as the significant technical issues that rendered Pokemon GO Fest 2017 a total failure last summer. In that case, those who did get tickets to the event (through whatever channel) were left upset when the network went down and they were unable to catch ’em all, or any Pokemon at all.
The faltering of the site is not necessarily an indication that Niantic is not prepared for the huge influx of players planning to attend. It could just be the result of bots who swarmed the site in order to secure tickets that would later be resold on eBay. Whatever the reason for the technical difficulties, fans will be hoping that Niantic will address the issues and will clamp down on ticket resales too in order to minimize the disappointment.
Pokemon GO is now available for Android and iOS devices.