Niantic CEO John Hanke pins Pokemon GO Fest issues on overloaded mobile data networks

Things went far more smoothly when everybody left

Niantic CEO John Hanke pins Pokemon GO Fest issues on overloaded mobile data networks

Niantic CEO John Hanke has spoken out about the technical difficulties faced during the recent Pokemon GO Fest in Chicago and blamed mobile data networks for the disruption.

In a blog post, Hanke stated that the networks were overloaded from too many people trying to access them from the same place. This is despite Niantic having informed the networks of their plans to hold the festival, which led to additional coverage being provided.

On top of this, the game itself faced technical issues on the day, including server crashes and login issues. This was reportedly fixed with a server configuration change, which solved the problem for "many" players.

The brighter side

While the main event faced numerous issues, Hanke also noted that players leaving the central event area continued to play the game in smaller groups with better network coverage. Overall, over 7.7 million Pokemon were caught by players after the event had ended.

"It was an amazing sight to behold and is a testament to the love of the game and to the bonds these Trainers share with one another," wrote Hanke.

Technical issues at the main Pokemon GO Fest event have led to Niantic offering refunds to all attendees along with $100 worth of free in-game coins. The Legendary Pokemon planned for launch at the event were also given to each attendee without the need to battle.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.