Remember the massive crowds that Pokémon Go generated back when the game first launched in the summer? Sprint’s hoping they start forming around their stores next week. That’s when the game’s developers, Niantic, are expected to announce new Pokémon (likely from the series’ second generation), the latest and most significant update in the game’s attempt at a comeback. Sprint is getting involved by turning their stores into PokéStops and gyms starting December 12.
At that time, Pokémon Go players will be able to collect items and battle other trainers at not only Sprint stores, but Boost Mobile and Radio Shack stores nationwide. It wasn’t that long ago that businesses becoming PokéStops and gyms was considered a hot new marketing technique, and Sprint is hoping to capture some of that early magic when the new Pokémon are introduced. Sprint is also saying they’ll let people charge their phones in-store, which makes me wonder if they’re really prepared for how many people might be visiting their stores soon. Then again, that might be a pretty good problem to have for Sprint.
Yesterday’s announcement revealed that Niantic’s December 12 event will indeed reveal new Pokémon, something the developers also confirmed. Another themed event for winter or Christmas could also be in the works. In any case, it seems likely that the update will include the generation 2 Pokémon, headlined by starters Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile. That would add another 100 Pokémon to Pokémon Go, although that number might end up being 94 — legendary/mythical Pokémon Suicune, Raikou, Entei, Lugia, Ho-oh, and Celebi seem unlikely, as Niantic still hasn’t done anything with the gen 1 legendaries/mythicals, Articuno, Moltres, Zapdos, Mewtwo, and Mew. Niantic could just unleash all those legendaries in one go, but I don’t think anyone, let alone Sprint, is prepared for that kind of madness.