Pokemon GO has been phenomenally successful, but considering it’s a free-to-play title, one might wonder how Niantic plans to make money outside of microtransactions.
Well, a new report from Gizmodo suggests that we’ll be seeing sponsored PokeStops in the near future, with the first being fast food giant McDonald’s.
You know, just in case all the walking around and catching Pokemon was keeping you too healthy.
It’s important to note that neither Niantic nor McDonald’s has commented on this story yet, so take this story with a pinch of salt (or bucket, since this is McDonald’s we’re talking about).
Anyway, this potential reveal comes from a group of Redditors who dug into the code of the Android version of Pokemon GO. Australian student Manu Gill managed to find a few strings that he reckons point to this sponsorship deal already being in the game’s code.
One of those strings mentions McDonald’s, by name – take a look for yourself below.
The assumption is that Niantic will work with McDonald’s to turn a number of the fast food stores into Pokemon gyms – the irony is tangible.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Niantic CEO John Hanke recently told The New York Times that the developer has already signed deals to turn certain retail spots into special Pokemon GO locations, so a McGym is hardly a stretch.
Sponsorship deals aside, digging through the code also turned up some other juicy McNuggets of potential information.
Our clever code hunters also uncovered details of legendary monsters, a trading system (which has already been confirmed), a new type of incense, and new items and natures.
It’s currently unclear how these sponsored locations will stand apart from regular gyms and PokeStops – Mew with a side of fries perhaps? We’ll have to wait and see.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.