With this partnership, SoftBank’s network of approximately 3,700 SoftBank-branded stores*2 and Y!mobile-branded*2 stores in Japan will appear as ‘PokéStops’ or ‘Gyms’ in the Pokémon GO game from September onward*3.
Pokémon GO players can get items to catch Pokémon at PokéStops and battle other players at Gyms, which are both found at sites of historical interest, famous monuments and other locations in the real world. With this partnership agreement, SoftBank stores and Y!mobile stores will become PokéStops or Gyms. Pokémon Go collaborative campaigns and services unique to SoftBank will also be considered in the future.
The deal is said to be similar to the arrangement that Niantic hatched with the Japanese arm of the McDonalds fast food chain prior to the games launch in July.
Nintendo shares rose 3.3% Thursday to JPY23,430 and SoftBank shares edged up by 1.6% to JPY6,867 in trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
McDonald’s Japan was Pokémon Go’s first sponsored location when it tied up with the game for its launch in Japan in July. The fast food company’s 3,000 restaurants in the country became sponsored Pokémon Go stops and gyms in a bid to see if the popularity of the game could create real-life traffic.
The deal seemed to go well — even though a leak from McDonald’s did delay the game’s Japan launch — and now SoftBank has joined the legion. From today, 3,700 stores from SoftBank and its Y!Mobile subsidiary will be either PokéStops or gyms where gamers can grab free goodies or train their Pokémon.
“Pokémon Go collaborative campaigns and services unique to SoftBank will also be considered in the future,” SoftBank added in a statement.
The ‘Pokémon Go Trainer Guidelines’ and ‘Pokémon Go Service Agreement’ specify rules to be followed when playing Pokémon Go. SoftBank, Niantic and The Pokémon Company will jointly remind players within the app and in our terms of service that they should be aware of their surroundings, obey the law, and play safely.
It isn’t immediately clear what that might mean. McDonald’s ran a campaign of Pokémon Go-themed meals and merchandising; it seems likely that SoftBank will also release themed products and services.