Pokémon Go has been available in the U.S. for just over a week, and its pervasiveness continues to confound people. Everyone and their mother is playing it, or at least wants to know what it is. And even if people aren’t walking around with their phones plugged into battery packs, looking to catch ’em all, they’re wondering how they can capitalize on this pop culture phenomenon.
That includes brands and businesses across the country, of course. Plenty of businesses and organizations are looking to take advantage of the increased foot traffic that comes with being a PokéStop.
At the moment, PokéStop locations are based on data from Ingress, the previous game from Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs. A business can apply to be added as a PokéStop, but Niantic isn’t actually accepting submissions right now. In the future, Niantic will partner with corporate retail establishments to create sponsored PokeStops, a practice that the company employed with Ingress.
We here at Polygon have written a lot about Pokémon Go this month, but we’re a media outlet; we have no affiliation with Niantic or the Pokémon Co. International, the makers of Pokémon Go. That fact seems to be lost on some business owners, though. We’ve received a number of emails in the past week in which people have asked us to deputize locations as PokéStops — or have complained about apparently being one already.
Here are some of those messages. (We’ve omitted identifying information in an effort to protect the innocent.)
I choose you, Pizzachu
We’re going to need some more information, sir.
Pokémon probably don’t need clean clothes
Well, Pokémon Go would be a great way to occupy your time while you’re waiting for a dryer to open up.
Maybe rollback this email
We checked, and there are something like a dozen Walmart locations in Phoenix. It wouldn’t be fair for us to prioritize yours over the others, now, would it?
Georgia on my mind
Whoa, that sounds like a pretty good promotional opportunity for the state of Georgia: Pokémon GA! Someone get Gov. Nathan Deal on the line.
Pokémon Center — er, hospital
We’re pretty sure this doesn’t officially count as a cease-and-desist order. Nice try, though.
Faint of a salesman
We’ll take that suggestion under advisement.
Buffalo is a fire-type Pokémon?
WHY ARE YOU EMAILING A WEBSITE INSTEAD OF CALLING THE FIRE DEPARTMENT?!
We’d like to thank everyone for writing in to our tips line, and for reading Polygon (although we might recommend reading a bit more closely before sending us an email). Still, we’re always open for business — just not the PokéStop kind. Feel free to send us a tip at any time through our contact form, or by emailing tips [at] polygon [dot] com.