Niantic Labs may be planning something big for Pokemon Go, and there's the possibility of all new goodies for gamers to experience in the mobile game thanks to what some people think is a major promotional event on the horizon.
The article points to a thread over on Reddit where users have snapped some shots of what appears to be a Starbucks promotional flyer for a team-up with Niantic Labs for Pokemon Go. The cross-promotional event will supposedly get underway starting December 8th. According to a portal on the official Starbucks website, the colored flyer explains that it's for the baristas on a "need-to-know" basis and that the information is "confidential" and only to be shared after Thursday, December 8th.
There's an image of a Starbucks drink rendered in 3D within Pokemon Go, with a giant "Catch this!" indicator on the screen in text above the soft drink.
Based on the flyer, Starbucks cafes across the United States will turn into major Gyms or PokeStops and by locating a store within the game, players will be able to access a Pokemon Go Frappuccino Blended Beverage item. It's in a dull purple cup with froth at the top and a green straw with the Starbucks logo in the center.
According to the flyer, management wants all partners to make and taste the Pokemon Go Frappucino drink so that they can offer a real version of it to customers when it becomes available at Starbucks outlets across the nation on December 8th. Assuming the flyer is to be believed.
An employee from Starbucks apparently had access to the flyer and a printout of it, which is shared through the Reddit thread. As noted by the Reddit users and the Polygon article, neither Niantic Labs nor Starbucks have confirmed the Pokemon Go leak.
The information seems pretty legit based on what's been offered, but until December 8th rolls around we just can't know for sure. There have been some very elaborate pranks handed out across the internet in the past.
However, this doesn't seem unlikely for Pokemon Go since Niantic Labs specifically mentioned that they would be partnering up with big companies and expanding the branding and marketing of the app in ways exactly like what's mentioned in the flyer. In fact, they've already done so in Japan by partnering up with McDonald's.
Dataminers also pointed to possible second generation Pokemon coming soon, but it doesn't sound as if that's going to be part of the Starbucks campaign. They'll likely try to run the Pokemon Go event separately and after the interest wanes, they may opt to start including new Pokemon. It would probably be wise to wait until after Christmas (or winter, for that matter) before introducing new Pokemon so more people can go out and search for them on foot. I doubt people will want to wade through six inches of snow to get their hands on some new Pokemon.