You may have noticed new Pokemon Go balloons popping up on the map. No, this isn't team Rocket — these Pokemon Go sponsored balloons will let you score some free items.
Pokemon Go is no stranger to sponsored content. The earliest days of the game had a number of sponsored Poke Stops, most notably at huge franchises such as Starbucks and McDonald's. Now, a new level of sponsorship is making its debut in the game.
A tweet from @LeekDuck (along with multiple threads on Reddit, two of which we used to create our header image) show brand-new balloons floating on the map. Balloons had made a previous appearance featuring Team Rocket, but these new objects on the map are a little different. Sponsored Gifts for Grubhub have also started popping up at Poke Stops.
Rather than a battle, these new Pokemon Go balloons feature something even more insidious than Team Rocket: advertisements. By tapping on the balloons, players can watch a short ad and earn some items for their trouble. Trainers are reporting getting a quantity of 200–400 Stardust and an item drop such as Rare Candy or a few standard Poke Balls.
There's still a lot we don't know about these balloons. It appears that they may have only launched in the United States to start — UK-based players are reporting that they have not encountered them as of yet, nor are Canadian players that we know of. It's also unclear if these new balloons could potentially interfere with the spawns of Team Rocket balloons.
Also Arriving: Pokemon Go Snivy Community Day and New Mobile Apps
These new Pokemon Go balloons aren't the only thing happening today. The Pokemon Go Snivy Community Day has also been announced for the month of April and Niantic is working on some new mobile apps with Nintendo.
The Pokemon Go Snivy Community Day will make that particular pokemon appear in the wild more often. As always, there will also be a special Community Day Box and a chance to snag a shiny variant if you're lucky! You'll be able to play this particular event on April 11, 2021, from 11:00 AM–5:00 PM local time.
Niantic is making big moves, too — it has announced a new partnership with Nintendo to create new mobile apps. The first will be a new mobile app based on Pikmin, a franchise that recently picked up steam again with last year's release of Pikmin 3 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch.
More details about this new Pikmin game will be released in the future. For now, U.S. players can find these new Pokemon Go balloons on the map and everyone can look forward to the upcoming Pokemon Go Snivy Community Day later in April 2021. You can play Pokemon Go for free on iOS and Android via its official website.
What do you think of these new sponsored balloons in Pokemon Go? What do you think the new Pikmin mobile game will be like? Let us know in the comments below!