Gaming News

Pokémon Go is planning to add sponsored locations to its in-game virtual map

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With everybody around the globe engrossed in growing their Pokemon collection, the businesses are hard at work trying to think of ad strategies to grow their business. Pokemon Go, the AR-ready game released last week has broken more records than hearts, by bringing your beloved childhood ‘pocket monsters’ to the real world.

The game developer Niantic Labs is already generating some revenue as it offers you to purchase more incense, potions, and pokeballs using in-app purchases. But to bank upon the crazy virality of the game, it is now gearing up to include advertising options, mostly in the form of sponsored locations.

In an interview with Financial Times, John Hanke, CEO, Niantic Labs suggested that,

“sponsored locations” would provide a new revenue stream, in addition to in-app purchases of power-ups and virtual items.

This means that retailers and other businesses will now have the option to sponsor locations(specially Poke Gyms) in the hope to drive more pupil to use their services. Once placed in the game’s virtual map, advertisers will pay Niantic based on the ‘number of visits’ they receive as result of the game. There is no further details on the ad revenue model and split between ads and in-app purchases.

The a few-odd looking strings of code in the Pokemon Go Android app has also suggested that Niantic is working on adding a sponsorship system to the game sooner than you think. In the Android code, an Australian student Manu Gill has discovered the mention of the biggest fast food chain, McDonald’s, as reported by Gizmodo. If this is true then both companies are in the market to make a lot of money form this widespread phenomenon.


The Android code also suggested a lot of new game-mechanics and features that are yet-to-be activated for the players inside the game. These include ‘legendary monsters'(oh yeah!!), a trading system, four additional types of berries and incense. It also hints to the inclusion of some items like ‘sweet honey’, and natures like ‘stoic’ and ‘radar’ that might effect either Pokemons or trainer themselves.

The sponsored location deal is very much alike the network of virtual portals that featured on the game developer Niantic’s previous AR-based Sci-Fi release ‘Ingress’. Some of the brands that collaborated with the developer to create branded content include, pharmacy chain Duane Reade, café chain Jamba Juice and car-rental service Zipcar.

Small businesses who are seeing a lot of people just turning-up at to catch Pokemons at their doorstep are also banking on the situation and pushing visitors to purchase goods in exchange of a Pokemon catch. Other business, however, have started advertising the large number of Pokestops in and around their building.

And as the Pokemon Go phenomenon spread and engulfs everybody’s life and time, the company has yesterday released the game to users in Germany, Europe. Also, the company has already crossed Twitter in daily active users and is seeing more engagement and user activity time than Facebook and Snapchat.

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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