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Pokémon Go’s Dortmund event apology undermines the weekend for those who travelled

  • April 1, 2019
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Pokémon Go players across Europe can now catch Corsola, a region-exclusive creature usually only found around the equator, for 48 hours.

Corsola has been made briefly available continent-wide as an apology to fans who attended last week’s enjoyable Dortmund Safari Zone event where the special appearance of Corsola was a major draw, but which suffered several technical issues on its opening day.

It’s a generous unlock for European players – but it doesn’t do much for those who made the journey to Dortmund, and who paid for travel and accommodation. Unless you were only passing through Dortmund for a few hours during the worst of the event’s difficulties, you likely still caught Corsola aplenty.

Indeed, fans who attended have argued Niantic has only undermined its event further by handing out one of its main attractions to everyone else across the continent. Doubly so, as many people stockpiled Corsola as a valuable creature for trading upon their return home.

Niantic’s announcement on Twitter was met with a backlash from fans:

Attention, Trainers! We're hosting a special Europe-wide event to thank those who attended #SafariZoneDortmund. From 12:00 a.m. UTC on July 3 until 11:59 p.m. UTC on July 4, Pokémon such as Corsola & Roselia may appear throughout Europe!

— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) July 3, 2018

So I spend £300 to go to Germany for a special event to get regional Pokémon. Before I even get home you have released it to everyone who didn?t leave home or pay anything. I can?t trade any of these now. You have made the situation worse.

— Marcus Scott (@marcusscott90) July 3, 2018

Really @NianticLabs? This is how you compensate us? Those who attended payed lots of money and took lots of time to get there. Not even a QR code was handed out for a badge so you ?don?t? know who was there.

— Kimberley Vercleyen (@MsAdvill) July 3, 2018

I?ll never travel for a niantic event again, I?ll just say at home and wait for them to screw up the event, which they always do, and then we?ll get them at home. Expensive lesson, though.

— Kay (@kayotickitchen) July 3, 2018

On Sunday, I asked Niantic boss John Hanke how the developer would handle the then-unannounced makeup event it had promised, and how it would make sure those who visited did not see everyone else get the same rewards.

At the time, Hanke said Niantic was “aware of exactly [that] trade-off” and was “trying to find a reasonable balance there”. I suggested the release of a different regional Pokémon instead, and asked whether compensating accounts specifically geo-tagged to have been active within Dortmund area at the time was possible.

“We looked at many options yesterday thinking of the right way to follow up and some consideration was given to that one,” Hanke concluded, “but there are some challenges to being able to do that.”

You can read the full interview with Pokémon Go boss John Hanke here.

There were other incentives to playing in Dortmund, of course – not least the fact Corsola was spawning in huge numbers alongside various other rare Pokémon, and most notably the Unown letters D, O, R, T, M, U, and N. Corsola’s release now across Europe has come in smaller quantities – but people highly prize the completion of a missing Pokédex space. To have this given out to everyone because there was no way of singling out accounts in Dortmund itself feels like a poor solution.

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