Niantic already makes a killing from Pokémon Go through the sales of virtual items such as Pokéballs and egg incubators, but the company has long had more ambitious monetization plans in place. Today the game developer announced a major deal with Sprint, the first such partnership, but surely not the last.
The nationwide deal will turn Sprint stores across the US into Pokéstops and gyms.
“We are thrilled to announce that we are working with Sprint to create a special Pokémon GO experience at over 10,500 Sprint locations around the United States,” John Hanke wrote on Niantic’s Pokémon Go blog. “As part of this collaboration, Sprint, Boost Mobile and Sprint at Radioshack stores will become PokéStops and Gyms, giving you even more places to stock up on Poké Balls and Razz Berries and to battle your friends.”
Sprint locations will also feature in-store charging stations, Hanke says.
There could be another PoGo partnership announced very soon. We’ve been hearing rumors of a national deal with Starbucks, too, including the limited release of a Pokémon Go-inspired frappucino.
Niantic is also in the process of rolling out an update to the game, which includes the addition of transferring multiple Pokémon at a time to Professor Willow and type icons to gym battle screens.