More than half of total Starbucks stores in the United States will be turned into either PokéStops or Gyms as part of a special Pokémon GO promotional event that was leaked recently.
The official announcement of Pokémon GO's special Starbucks event comes just a day after Niantic announced its partnership with Sprint, growing Niantic's roster of corporate partners as it lures players back into the game. This, coupled with recent in-game bonuses, and the slow but sure revival of the tracker deems Niantic as once again claiming its foothold on players who have halted active use of the game.
Starbucks To Be Turned Into PokéStops Or Gyms
For the said promotional event, Niantic turned to Starbucks because of its sustained commitment to sheltering social interaction and community-building.
"We appreciate their role in creating safe, welcoming locations for people from all walks of life to come together for refreshment and social engagement," wrote Niantic in a blog post published Thursday.
A total of 7,800 U.S. Starbucks stores will be turned either into PokéStops or Gyms beginning Thursday, and Starbucks is even offering a special beverage created specifically for Pokémon GO players.
Between Niantic's partnership with Starbucks and Sprint, there will be nearly 20,000 PokéStops across the country by the end of the year.
More Pokémon Are Coming
In addition to the aforementioned event, Niantic has confirmed that new Pokémon are slated to crowd the game's current roster.
"Keep an eye out on our social media channels on December 12th for details about the first addition of more Pokémon into Pokémon GO," teased Niantic in a blog post Wednesday.
Datamined files of the most recent update seems to support that new Pokémon are indeed arriving, with second-generation noise files and mention of Pokémon genders embedded within the app.
The augmented-reality app shot rapidly atop App Store charts back when it was first released in July, but has since saw dwindled interest from players due to a number of gate-keeping measures Niantic had once applied. The partnerships and the arrival of new Pokémon could potentially reinvigorate the game and trawl players back in.
As of November, more than 600 million people have downloaded Pokémon GO, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, and its popularity is undeniable — clocking 45 million daily active users in its peak at one point.
For those who have abandoned Pokémon GO, will this new partnership entice you back in, especially with second-generation critters confirmed to be en route? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!