7-Eleven Japan has announced that its collaboration with Pokemon GO, which started in April 2017, will come to an end on October 31, 2021. That means over 19,000 PokeStops and Gyms will no longer be available at the convenience store locations.
Pokemon GO launched in Japan in July 2016, and Niantic had signed the partnership contract with 7-Eleven Japan less than a year later. That was during the midst of its peak when people were regularly meeting up by the masses. The collaboration essentially made each 7-Eleven store into a PokeStop in Pokemon GO. There were a few exceptions, including stores located inside hospitals or stations and other places that could do without the extra traffic. That means that all other stores, for a total of over 19,000, became designated PokeStops for the players. If you’re wondering if that’s a lot, over 70,000 7-Eleven stores are in business worldwide, and over 21,000 of them are in Japan.
The Pokemon GO hype has cooled down in recent years, so it shouldn’t be much of an issue. However, some of the avid players in Japan, which surprisingly consists of much older folks, will need to walk further for their PokeStops. If anything, it’ll cut down on reasons to stop by 7-Elevens to get bento sets, onigiri, and many other delicious foods offered by the “konbini.”
Pokemon GO is immediately available for iOS and Android devices. Niantic initially planned to gradually roll back features established during the pandemic but ended up extending several features, including the 80 meters base interaction radius for PokeStops and Gyms, after facing backlash from fans.