After just over one week of requests, Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs has stopped taking requests for new Gym and PokéStop locations through its support site.
Niantic added a form to its customer support site on July 14 allowing users to suggest new real-world locations that should serve as notable focal points in the game’s augmented reality map. As of July 22, that form has been removed.
“Please note, we are currently not accepting submissions for new PokéStops or Gyms,” Niantic said on its support site. “If you are having trouble finding PokéStops or Gyms near you, please try visiting a local park or other interesting or historical locations in your community.”
Niantic noted when it started taking requests that it had no plans to add any new locations in the immediate future. Rather, it said the Pokémon Go team will take user feedback into consideration when adding its next round of hot spots. Even when it was active, submitting the form sometimes resulted in an automated response stating “We are not currently accepting new submissions.” Despite the message, Niantic said every submitted request would be evaluated for future updates.
The form asked players to submit the name of an available public location or place of business, including an appropriate street addresses, where available, and latitude and longitude coordinates.
Released earlier this month, Pokémon Go is an Android and iOS app that allows players to search the world around them for superpowered Pokémon characters using augmented reality technology. While out and about in the real world, players can whip out their phones and quickly scan their surroundings for nearby Pokémon. Once a Pokémon is identified, players can then capture it and add it to their collection, leveling up their in-game character in the process.
Gym and PokéStop locations play a significant role in the Pokémon Go experience. Users can attach beacons to virtual PokéStop locations to attract new Pokémon, which can then be caught by nearby players. Gyms, meanwhile, are persistent locations that can be claimed by Pokémon Go players in order to boost their team’s reputation. Gyms also introduce combat-oriented gameplay elements that challenge players to pit their best Pokémon against rivals in an ongoing battle for team supremacy.
While players can no longer request additional Pokéstops and gyms, Niantic is still taking requests to have existing locations removed from the game. While business owners may see having a personal Pokéstop as good for business, some institutions, such the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., considered the mob of disinterested players it drew to be disrespectful.
Updated on 07-22-2016 by Mike Epstein: Updated the story to note that Niantic Labs stopped taking requests for Pokéstops and gyms after one week.