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Pokémon Go's ticketed Las Vegas event marred by network issues

As thousands of additional fans mob park.

Pokémon Go Hoenn Tour Las Vegas.
Image credit: Niantic.

This weekend's ticketed Pokémon Go Hoenn Tour event in Las Vegas received a poor reception - literally - due to phone network connectivity issues which left many unable to play, and which developer Niantic blamed on unexpected overcrowding.

Reports of problems at the event surfaced early on Saturday, local time, as the in-person gathering kicked off. Tickets sold out last month, with some 50,000 players signed up to attend.

After hours of issues, Niantic stated that "an additional 17,000 Trainers without tickets joined us at the park", causing the connectivity issues in the area. "This led to Trainers disconnecting from raids, being unable to log in, and other issues with gameplay," the developer admitted.

Cover image for YouTube videoPrimal Kyogre and Primal Groudon are coming to Pokémon GO!
Pokémon Go's Las Vegas event featured the global debut of Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre.

To combat these issues for day two, Niantic took the unusual step of telling fans who did not have a ticket to stay away from the area, to ensure a "smooth event" for those who did.

Regardless, further issues were reported on Sunday, and fans at the event reported experiencing continued network problems across the city of Las Vegas.

Niantic ultimately extended the event's gameplay on both days, and provided several smatterings of in-game items by way of an apology.

But for many of those who travelled to the city, it was too late to turn things around.

"Pretty piss poor really - game is still unplayable for us here, can't get into raids and then constantly presented with login errors when restarting," one user wrote on the game's top fan reddit The Silph Road. "Map just going blank constantly when we do finally get in as well."

"My first and last time I'll do this," another added. "Waste of money entirely. Every add-on is essentially worthless when you can only raid like once an hour at best. Everything is horrid. Cell towers are capped and nothing is going through. Wi-Fi boosters are poorly placed and not enough of them anywhere. Eggs aren't tracked well enough. There are spots that you need to spin for missions in complete dead spots. I've spent way too much time stressing more than playing."

From afar, reaction to the event also seemed a mixed bag. While it had been stated already, players joining the event's Primal Groudon and Kyogre raids were disappointed to find they were unable to start earning Primal Energy to evolve their own creatures.

The number of raids required to gather enough Primal Energy to evolve a Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre was also criticised, with more raids necessary than with standard Mega Evolutions.

Reaction to the event has evoked memories of Pokémon Go's past issues with in-person gatherings - which had improved in recent years. Pokémon Go's next big event is the global version of Hoenn Tour, which should go ahead more smoothly.