Skip to main content

‘Pokémon Go’ creator could be on the verge of making some serious dough

pokemon go breakup car crash pokemongo 3
Image used with permission by copyright holder
If you’re playing Pokémon Go and find yourself landing up at an increasing number of restaurants, stores, and other businesses to catch your creatures, it’s likely to be the game’s new monetization strategy kicking in.

Keen to cash in on the game’s phenomenal – and instant – popularity, creator Niantic is reportedly planning to introduce sponsored locations as a way of enabling businesses to attract more people to their premises.

For those not in the know, Pokémon Go uses augmented reality to let players navigate the real world to capture Pokémon. A fantasy version of Google Maps reveals the whereabouts of the creatures, encouraging users to travel to different places to play the game with their smartphone.

The free Android and iOS game, which launched last week in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, currently makes money off in-app purchases, but sponsored locations looks set to guarantee another lucrative revenue stream.

The plan was revealed by Niantic boss John Hanke, who told the FT this week that it’s considering letting companies pay “to be locations within the virtual game board – the premise being that it is an inducement that drives foot traffic.” Businesses that drop cash to be featured in the game will be charged on a “cost per visit” basis, the FT said.

If the experience of one New York City business is anything to go by, signing up to Niantic’s ad product could certainly prove beneficial. L’inizio’s Pizza Bar in Queens found out by chance that it’d been designated as a location in the game without even asking, Bloomberg reported.

That was good news in itself, as more people were visiting the restaurant to play the game. However, realizing that forking out $10 on the game’s “Lure Modules” would attract more Pokémon – and thereby even more game players – to the pizza joint, the manager quickly paid up. The result? A jump in sales of around 30 percent over a typical weekend.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Pokémon Go-obsessed LA police officers ignored robbery to catch a Snorlax
pokemon go cops ignored robbery to catch a snorlax

Two LAPD officers ignored a call for backup in favor of trying to catch ‘em all in Pokémon Go, according to recently published court documents.

The officers -- Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell -- were subsequently fired for their transgression, though it was only the suspicion of a senior officer that led to them being found out.

Read more
Pokémon Go developer’s next Nintendo AR game is Pikmin Bloom
Pikmin grow flowers as they walk in a park.

Niantic, the developer of the well-known Pokémon Go, has announced Pikmin Bloom, its latest AR game. The game was teased earlier this year, but there have been few details up to this point. The game will be available on mobile devices in Australia and Singapore starting Tuesday, then on phones worldwide in the coming days. Like Pokémon Go, Pikmin Bloom will be free to download, but there are few similarities between the two titles.

Pikmin Bloom - Extended Announcement Trailer + Miyamoto (Nintendo Mobile)

Read more
Everything we saw at Pokémon Presents: Arceus details, Go updates, and more
A Hisuian Growlithe in Pokemon Legends: Arceus

The next five months are going to be packed for Pokémon fans. Today's Pokémon Presents event focused extensively on the two new entries heading to the franchise: Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl and Pokémon Legends: Arceus. With their release dates quickly approaching, the Pokémon Company took the opportunity to share some new details about these upcoming mainline titles.

Pokémon Presents | 8.18.21

Read more