Pokémon Go has been on the Google Play Store for over a week now, and the excitement is still growing. As more people flood the streets in hopes of becoming the next best trainer, the future of the app still has fans asking questions.
John Hanke, Niantic’s Chief Executive, stated to the Financial Times recently that “there is a second component to our business model at Niantic, which is this concept of sponsored locations”.
What he’s talking about is company sponsored PokeStops. Pokestops are specific landmarks, such as statues or notable buildings that allow you to get experience and items at no cost. These Pokestops have become a favorite among fans, and it would only make sense that companies would see them as a possible platform for profit. On July 12th, Reddit users tf2manu994 and KcYoung found the word “McDonald’s” along with their logo in a portion of the games code. This find was one of the first indicators that sponsorship was coming.
Gizmodo released an article on July 14 stating that Mcdonald’s stops are going to be a real thing, according to their “well placed source”. A country hasn’t been selected for this, but Gizmodo speculates that Japan is the frontrunner. The game hasn’t rolled out there yet and there have been hints of it being an Asian country according to their source. This move would generate a lot of foot traffic for Mcdonald’s, which are often in walking distance in cities. Also, their free WiFi could allow players to catch Pokemon while catching a bite.
While neither Niantic or McDonald’s haven’t released statements about this being a done deal, all signs point towards the oncoming announcement.