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Niantic’s location-based AR game Pokemon Go has previously been host to sponsored campaigns from stores like Starbucks that offered in-game goodies for visiting real-world stores, and soon other businesses will have the opportunity to do similar.
A coming program aims to let small and medium sized businesses list themselves as in-game Pokestops and, in theory, attract the business and foot-traffic of Pokemon Go players.
“These local sponsored locations are already part of our players’ lives and provide a welcoming place to go and meet up with friends and engage with,” explains Niantic.
”We are always transparent and open to our players regarding sponsored locations and feel they mutually benefit our players and these businesses. Players have more locations where they are welcomed and access to special experiences sponsored by businesses, and businesses can attract more awareness and foot traffic while creating new layers of fun engagement at their real-world locations.”
Niantic also notes that benefits felt in Pokemon Go may also reach developers using its Niantic Real World Platform, a pool that is set to expand soon thanks to the recent announcement of the Niantic Creators Program.
“This may also create a potential new revenue stream for developers building experiences on the Niantic Real World Platform, without the interruptive nature of traditional advertising,” says Niantic.
Those new sponsored locations are set to start rolling out this Winter in the US, while applications for businesses interested in signing up are open now.