Pokémon GO developer Niantic recently begged players to stay away from a Las Vegas public park unless they purchase a $30 in-game content card.
Sunset Park was the site of the Pokémon GO Tour: Hoenn event, which took place February 18-19, allowing players to participate in a variety of additional in-game activities for those who paid $25 before New Year’s Eve or $30 after. Focus on Ruby and Sapphire’s Pokémon.
Players came to the park hoping to loot, capture, trade and fight pocket monsters, but the 17,000 regular players who showed up would have broken the local network and made the game useless for payers.
Players (and the public) did not have to pay to enter the park, only to access additional content available in Pokémon GO.
As reported by Eurogamer, the first day of the in-person event ended in disappointment, with many players complaining that network issues were separating them from raids or completely preventing them from accessing the game.
Niantic later acknowledged the issue in a tweet from its official Pokémon GO account, stating that “17,000 additional trainers joined us at the park without tickets, resulting in erratic connectivity throughout the day.”
In a later tweet, the developer He asked busless buses to avoid the public park altogether in order to “provide a regular event for ticketholders on Sundays”.
To ensure a hassle-free event for Sunday Pass holders and Trainers with an extra day of Sunday, we are asking Trainers without Pokémon GO Tour: Hoenn – Las Vegas tickets not to join us at the park tomorrow. .
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) February 19, 2023
The company has also tried to appease dissatisfied paying customers by extending the duration of certain events in the city and offering a free bundle for interested players that includes three premium and remote raid passes.
Reportedly, connectivity issues continued throughout the weekend, despite requests from unticketed players to stay away.
This isn’t the first time with Pokémon GO, though Niantic claims the extra players are to blame. Like the last one in Vegas, the original Pokémon GO Fest in 2017 was disappointing for many players who had trouble connecting to the game, and connection issues plagued other activities as well.
Anthony is a freelance writer covering science and games news for IGN. He has over eight years of experience with the latest advances in multiple scientific fields and has no time for his antics. Follow him on Twitter @BeardConGamer
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