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Niantic Labs, the developer behind the hit augmented reality game Pokémon Go, today hinted to the Financial Times that it plans to allow retailers and other companies to introduce sponsored locations in the future as a way to monetize the app.

Real world locations in Pokémon Go serve as "Pokéstops" for collecting in-game items and power-ups including "Pokéballs" or as "gyms" for battling the pokémon of other players. Right now, Pokéstops and gyms are largely located at notable landmarks like parks and statues, but may expand to encompass retailer-sponsored locations.

Pokemon-Go-gameplay-2.jpg

Niantic Labs' previous app, Ingress, featured similar branded portals purchased by retailers like Jamba Juice and Zipcar. Advertisers who purchased portals through Niantic Labs paid on a "cost per visit" basis, and a similar tactic could be used in Pokémon Go.
John Hanke, chief executive of Niantic, which developed Pokémon Go in partnership with the Japanese games group, said "sponsored locations" would provide a new revenue stream, in addition to in-app purchases of power-ups and virtual items. [...]

Alongside in-app payments, "there is a second component to our business model at Niantic, which is this concept of sponsored locations", Mr Hanke said, where companies "pay us to be locations within the virtual game board -- the premise being that it is an inducement that drives foot traffic".
Niantic CEO John Hanke declined to tell Financial Times about any sponsorship deals already in the works for Pokémon Go, but code within the app discovered this morning suggests a deal may have been established with McDonald's. McDonald's imagery is included in the app and the McDonald's name is listed in the app's code.

pokemongomcdonalds.jpg
Image via Gizmodo

Pokémon Go has become a global phenomenon since its launch last week, earning an estimated $1.6 million in daily revenue with more than 7.5 million downloads in the United States. The app received its first update yesterday, fixing a number of bugs and changing Google permissions that sparked privacy concerns.

Article Link: 'Pokémon Go' to Feature Retailer-Sponsored Locations
 
Interesting monetization technique. I'm actually ok with this, as long as all the parks, landmarks, etc are still included. Adding a Starbucks pokestop won't hurt things. I'd only be afraid of 1) too many pokestops, which could damage their semi-elusive nature and 2) Stores will almost definitely keep attaching lures to their pokestop to keep people there. Not inherently bad, but it removes the necessity to stay active in the game
 
If this means more Pokéstops in rural and suburban locations, I welcome this.

Yes that's the frustrating thing. The day Pokemon GO came out I was visiting in Chicago, and as I walked up and down Navy Peir there were literally pokestops (and pokemon) about every 15 feet. Unfortunately the servers were down 90% of the time... Then I came back to my suburbia location and it's so sparse...
 
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madsci954

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Oct 14, 2011
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I'd only be afraid of 1) too many pokestops, which could damage their semi-elusive nature and 2) Stores will almost definitely keep attaching lures to their pokestop to keep people there. Not inherently bad, but it removes the necessity to stay active in the game

This a picture someone took of the Las Vegas Strip.
 

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Not a fan of this model of monetisation. It feels like we're constantly being bombarded with marketing material wherever we go. Personally I'd much rather pay for the Pokémon app than have to deal with ads being disguised as Pokémon Gyms.

Many pokestops are already attached to buildings/businesses/churches... if the app makes money from some of these pokestops, that wouldn't hurt me any. Sounds like a win-win proposition to me. Perhaps keep the same number of pokestops, but they can rotate between various locations (some paid, some not). I'd hope that they would be reasonable and only have a certain percentage of pokestops be paid at any time, say 25% or so.
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This a picture someone took of the Las Vegas Strip.
Yup, that's basically what navy pier looks like, albeit a smaller total area.
 

Baumi

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2005
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1) too many pokestops, which could damage their semi-elusive nature

Not sure how it is out in suburbia or in the countryside, but here in the city there anything but elusive. I always have at least five or six of them visible on the map, no matter where I happen to be.
 

6836838

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Jul 18, 2011
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It's pretty obvious this was how they're intending to monetise the platform. I don't see how this is newsworthy. Generally, I just don't care.

McEmon, Smakemon, Eneron. Please.
 

d00d

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2002
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pokemon continues to be the Big Thing i never 'Got.'

i think it's exactly what separates gen x from millennials.
Incorrect. Plenty of Gen X loves Pokemon. Kudos on the bait.

If you don't "get it", that's cool, but please stop trying to establish generational relationships to justify your subjective opinion. Stop trying to speak for a generation. It's far too diverse for this.
 
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