Pokémon GO is in the middle of a significant PR push at present, rather like a second launch for the app that went viral around a year ago. Niantic's plans for an excitable live showcase in Chicago somewhat unravelled, however, though players around the world are nevertheless getting their first taste of Legendary Pokémon in the game.
The Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago's Grant Park drew plenty of attention, with a live stream on YouTube drawing tens of thousands of viewers and with plenty in attendance, but it did fall into trouble. The event ended early after various attempts at live battles to open the weekend encountered technical problems; issues were caused by local connections struggling in addition to Niantic's servers crumbling under the load. As a result a number of attendees couldn't take part and have been compensated with in-game currency and items.
As you can see in the video from CND below there were awkward moments where the crowd vented frustration, but despite the 'live' battles not taking off there was notable excitement as the first Legendary Pokémon was distributed.
As for other players around the world Articuno and Lugia are now popping up in raid battles. In addition the following rewards are available until 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern on 24th July, which is 1am UK / 2am CEST on 25th July.
- Double Stardust
- Double Candy
- Double XP
- Increased Pokemon encounters
- Reduced hatching distance
- Reduced buddy distance
It was a tough weekend for Niantic in Chicago, as much of the (occasionally hyperbolic) reaction online shows; nevertheless it'll be interesting to see how the introduction of Legendary Pokémon will boost global interest in the game over the next few weeks.