Notifications from the Pokemon GO app arrived this week with a promotion from Sprint encouraging phone buys. This was not the first time Niantic sent a notification to users on iPhone and Android devices, but it was the first time they pushed for an outside buy. In this rather blatant advertisement this morning, Niantic promised a reward of in-game currency to users who switched from their current mobile provider to Sprint.
The people who made Pokemon GO exist under one brand roof called Niantic. They’re also responsible for the augmented reality/ GPS mapping game Ingress and have announced plans to release a Harry Potter: Wizards Unite game in the near future. The company was applauded at first for releasing Pokemon GO without advertisements, at first.
In-game purchases always existed in Pokemon GO. Users can purchase Pokecoins which in turn can be used to purchase in-game clothing items, XP boosters, and so forth. Niantic moved forward with their second-tier method of attaining revenue by working with companies that wished to mark their business as a Pokestop within the game.
Today Niantic moved to a third phase. One in which the company sends notifications about products and services which the user is compelled to buy in the real world, with real cash. If I was still playing this game regularly, this would be my last straw. As it were, I’m glad I quit a while ago. There are only so many sins a Pokemon Trainer can take.
Meanwhile the game has released Gen 3 of the Pokemon universe before they’ve completed Gen 1 or Gen 2, and we’ve yet to see Delibird. Maybe this Christmas? It’ll be a while before we see the entire Pokedex completed – even just the first, core generations – plus shinies. Don’t get me started on shiny Pokemon, because oh my god.