Sponsored locations are coming soon to Pokemon Go.
As it stands, Pokemon Go currently randomises the real-world locations listings for its PokeGyms and Pokestops. This is about to change, as developer Ninantic Labs starts taking money in exchange for sponsored listings.
According to the New York Times, Niantic is working with businesses to have them featured as sponsored listings, the same way it did with Ingress, Niantic’s first game.
Niantic is not yet ready to announce when we’ll start seeing these sponsored locations, but said more will be revealed “in the future.”
Such partnerships may already be in place, however. According to Manu Gill, an Australian student who managed to decompile Pokemon Go’s Android version (via Gizmodo). Gill believes code for sponsored content is already available, which, although not particularity surprising in and of itself, it reveals a big name may have already signed a deal with Niantic.
References to one of the world’s largest fast food chains, McDonald’s, has been found with the code. Findings by Reddit user KcYoung also seem to indicate McDonald’s involvement, as the company’s logo was also found in the code.
This could indicate that McDonald’s locations may about to get special treatment in the game, like becoming Gyms.
This is just one of the ways Niantic and Nintendo intend to make money on the free-to-play app in the long term.