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Big Pokémon GO Update Rumors Seemingly Confirmed by … Starbucks

Yes, that's a real headline, not a Mad Libs.


Data mining the game’s code has confirmed that over 100 new Pokémon from the Gold/Silver game generation will join Pokémon GO at some point, but when that would happen was still up for debate. It seems that now we know, although this data comes from an unlikely source—at least, at first glance.

A purportedly leaked internal Starbucks marketing memo lays out not only the introduction of new Pokémon to the game, but Starbucks’ role in a promotion that will see most Starbucks locations in the U.S. becoming either Pokéstops or gyms. (If they’re not already, as my local Starbucks is.) There’s even a Pokémon-themed drink to go along with the promotion, if you were ever wondering what a Pokémon-flavored frappuccino would taste like. (It’ll taste like some combination of vanilla, blackberries, and raspberry, according to the guide.)

Sites across the Internet of varying credibility have been floating a rumor for some time that the generation 2 Pokémon would be coming in an update on December 7, and the Starbucks promotion is timed for December 8. Whether by coincidence or not, those dates seem to line up pretty well, so we could be looking at a whole new batch of Pokémon to catch later in the week, which would be a breath of fresh air to dedicated players who would at least like to see a bit more variety among the most common Pokémon while they hunt for the rare ones.

This kind of marketing promotion is nothing new to Pokémon GO, either, as many retail locations quickly caught onto the game’s popularity during its peak over the summer, and Japanese McDonald’s locations already got on board in an official capacity. There’s no need for players to buy anything at Starbucks in order to play (although you might want to anyway while you’re huddling inside for warmth), nor is playing the game necessary to buy one of the promotional beverages. It’s just a way for Niantic to get a little cash from Starbucks while Starbucks enjoys a bit of extra traffic at their stores.

(via Eurogamer, image via The Pokémon Company)

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Dan is many things, including a game developer, animator, martial artist, and at least semi-professional pancake chef. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (his dog), both of whom are the best, and he will never stop reminding The Last Jedi's detractors that Luke Skywalker's pivotal moment in Return of the Jedi was literally throwing his lightsaber away and refusing to fight.