SEOUL, Feb. 23 (Korea Bizwire) – The popularity of Pokémon GO is gradually waning, but there are still millions of players flicking their fingers on their smartphone screens trying to “catch’em all.”
During the second week of February (February 6 to 10), an estimated 5.63 million people played Pokémon GO, which was a drop from 6.98 million during the first week of the game’s launch (January 23 to 29).
Now, businesses are partnering with Niantic to attract local players by becoming officially designated PokéStops, where players restock on gaming items, or Gyms, where users can battle their Pokémon with those of other players.
Lotteria is the first restaurant franchise to partner with the AR game company.
With the new partnership, some 2,700 cafés and restaurants under seven brands operated by Lotteria – Lotteria, Angelinus Coffee, TGI Fridays, Krispy Kreme, Natuur Pop, Villa de Charlotte, and The Food House – will turn into PokéStops and Gyms starting Thursday.
Similarly, convenience store franchise 7-Eleven was also designated as one of Niantic’s official partners, and its 8,500 stores are expected to soon transform into essential Pokémon GO destinations.
Businesses overseas have taken advantage of such partnerships or “Lure Modules,” which attract Pokémon to their locale for a certain period of time, with reasonable success, according to industry watchers.
Similar success has been observed in Korea for destinations initially designated as PokéStops and Gyms, boosting sales for businesses in the area, and even creating newly-coined terms like Poké-conomy.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)