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Pokémon Go leaks point to big Starbucks event in the works (update)

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Grab a decent-sounding Frappuccino, while you’re at it

Niantic/The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Go’s first big sponsored promotion could launch later this week at Starbucks, based on images shared across Reddit. Several users have uploaded screenshots of special Starbucks iconography appearing in the Pokémon mobile game, which point to a Dec. 8 launch date.

Based on the leaked images, which come from a webpage purportedly accessible by Starbucks employees, a large number of stores will become PokéStops or gyms as part of the event. Players who swing by their nearest participating Starbucks can pick up a unique item: the Pokémon Go Frappuccino Blended Beverage.

Starbucks will reportedly sell an actual version of the drink during the event’s duration. The Pokémon Go Frappuccino is vanilla bean-flavored with raspberry syrup, freeze-dried blackberries and whipped cream, according to Starbucks.

The Pokémon Go Starbucks collaboration details, printed.
Imgur via Reddit

Beyond the special drink offer, however, the employee details suggest that there’s a bigger update involved.

“The world of Pokémon Go is about to expand with new Pokémon,” the printout reads. Users datamined the game earlier this fall and found code for 100 new species of Pokémon already baked in — the entire second generation of monsters. Following the leaks surfacing, Niantic revealed that more Pokémon will soon come to the game; more information is due Dec. 12.

Niantic, developer of the free-to-play smash hit, announced over the summer that it had plans to collaborate with corporate sponsors, much as it did with Ingress. In the developer’s earlier, location-based mobile game, these promotions involved turning real world retailers into places of note for players.

In Japan, McDonald’s worked with Niantic to transform some of its locations into PokéStops.

Update: Starbucks and Niantic have confirmed the collaboration, which begins at 11 a.m. PT on Dec. 8. Along with transforming 7,800 Starbucks locations into gyms and PokéStops, a special Frappuccino will be sold “for a limited time” in honor of the game.

The post has been updated to reflect the official announcement.