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Pokémon Go Fest is coming back to Chicago this summer

Pokémon Go Fest is coming back to Chicago this summer


Along with Germany and Japan

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Photo by Dani Deahl / The Verge

Last year’s Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago didn’t exactly go smoothly, but that isn’t stopping developer Niantic from trying again. Today the studio announced a summer tour for 2018, that will feature three stops across Germany, Japan, and the US, including a return visit in Chicago. According to Niantic, “each event will include unique ways for players around the world to create adventures of their own and complete challenges together.”

Things kick off with a free event at Westfalenpark in Dortmund, which starts on June 30th and will run through July 1st. Then, on July 14–15th, the tour shifts to Lincoln Park in Chicago. (Last year’s disastrous Chicago festival took place in Grant Park.) The American event will be centered around a 1.8 mile-long course throughout the park, which will include “physical installations and exclusive activities” as well as “a unique and immersive gameplay experience not seen in any of Niantic’s previous live events.” Chicago Pokémon fans will need to purchase $20 tickets to attend, though. Finally, things will wrap up in Yokosuka, though there aren’t any details on the Japanese event yet. Niantic says it will take place “later in the summer.”

“After getting off to a bumpy start in Chicago last year, we hosted a number of record-setting events in Japan, Korea, and cities across Europe with attendance that ranged from tens of thousands to more than 2 million,” Niantic CEO John Hanke said in a statement. “We are excited to be returning to Chicago for our US event.”

Describing last year’s event as “bumpy” is a bit of an understatement. The Chicago festival was plagued by spotty cellular reception and in-game server issues; Hanke was even booed on stage. Niantic eventually offered free in-game currency and refunded tickets for attendees, and subsequent events in other cities — including one not long after in Yokohama — went much more smoothly.