Pokemon Go's developer is hinting that sponsored locations are coming to the mega-popular mobile game and it looks like McDonald's could be one of the first. Niantic Labs chief executive John Hanke talked about the second half of the studio's money-making strategy - aside from microtransactions - in an interview with Financial Times (paywall).
If you've ever played Ingress, Niantic's other GPS-enabled augmented reality game, you already know how these sponsored locations work: companies pay to promote their real-world locations in the game area, players flock to collect in-game rewards or participate in an event, and Niantic collects a little bit of cash for every player that checks in and hopefully buys a Big Mac or a Ford Focus or whatever.
Hanke didn't reveal any specific plans for moving this model over to Pokemon Go as it rolls out worldwide, but it looks the game already has the groundwork for sponsored locations ready. Reddit user tf2manu posted a snippet of the game's source code that mentions McDonald's as a sponsor, and user KcYoung added that the McDonald's logo even appears in the game's resource files, right next to the usual clothing textures and icons.
Fortunately, you don't have to pay to get your location removed from the game - like the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, for obvious reasons. You do still have to submit a request form, though.
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