It’s now officially a trademark move for developer Niantic. Last month Pokémon Go players were accidentally let in for free to the ticketed Kanto Tour event. To make up for it, Niantic announced there would be a special bonus event for those who’d paid. That started today, and guess what: They let people in who hadn’t paid.
During February’s celebration of Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, Pokémon Go featured a pretty pricey special event. Celebrating the monsters’ original homeland, the Kanto Region, they charged a hefty $US12 ($15) to play. So when people found they could join in without having bought a ticket, others became disgruntled.
Niantic reacted quickly with apologies, and announced it would hold a special bonus quest chain to make it up. That started yesterday in Australia and New Zealand, and with just perfect scriptwriting — as Eurogamer reports — it was briefly available to people who hadn’t paid.
You have to think that whoever was responsible for switching on the event was sat at a computer with 80 different sticky notes stuck all around their monitor and desk saying, “DON’T MAKE IT OPEN TO EVERYONE,” while various colleagues and bosses popped their heads around the door to say, “Remember, don’t make it open to everyone!” Then, when it came to the moment, they just went to pieces.
This is not exactly unprecedented. Only last year Niantic performed a similarly farcical series of pratfalls after that year’s GO Fest, when technical issues meant the rotating cast of spawning Pokémon failed to work properly. To apologise they held a make-up event, during which… technical issues meant many players weren’t able to properly participate. Incredibly, they held a make-up event for that make-up event, albeit restricted to players in the Asia Pacific region.
Whether today’s calamity will mean the same remains to be seen — the issue was fixed before the event’s launch time spread beyond Australia. As yet, Niantic — usually very fast to fess up to mistakes on Twitter — hasn’t acknowledged the issue, although it did only just catch up apologising for breaking the game’s news feed yesterday.