Niantic announces it’s no longer taking requests for new Pokemon GO Gym and PokeStop locations, while also adding a form to request the removal of a Gym or PokeStop.
One of the most surprising results of the Pokemon GO craze is the amount of business that the augmented reality game has driven to various brick and mortar stores. It was recently confirmed that McDonald’s had struck a deal with Niantic, the game’s developer, and earlier this week the CEO of GameStop credited the game with increasing the business of stores that were designated as PokeStops and Gyms in the game.
Last week, Niantic announced that they were taking requests for new PokeStops and Gyms. This was good news, not only for players in rural areas where gyms and stops tend to be few and far between, but also for business owners who hoped to grab one of these coveted locations in Pokemon GO for their own business.
Unfortunately, those businesses that procrastinated sending in their requests may be out of luck, because Niantic just announced that they have stopped taking requests for PokeStops and Gyms for the foreseeable future. Along with the announcement, Niantic also posted a form to their site through which users could request to have a PokeStop or Gym removed, based on the location being in an unsafe area or being located on private property.
This news will undoubtedly make many business owners kick themselves for not sending their requests in sooner. On the other hand, the Gym/PokeStop removal form will please those who have become frustrated with Pokemon GO players coming onto their property.
The ability to request PokeStop/Gym removals will hopefully also help make the game safer for players, such as the players who were shot at after being mistaken for robbers or the nine players who were lured into a mugging through the game. Niantic is clearly trying to use crowdsourcing to make the game safer for everyone involved.
It is unclear at this time if Niantic plans to ever start taking requests for new PokeStop and Gym locations, but the fact that the game has proven to be such a massive financial success suggests that the company will want to continue to expand the game at some point. But for now, players will just have to wait and see which new locations will be added and hope that a few will be nearby.
What other features should Niantic add to Pokemon GO to make the game safer for its players?
Pokemon GO is available now for Android and iOS in select regions.