It’s no secret that Pokemon GO has been a huge financial success, especially at the peak of its popularity last summer. Now, developer Niantic has offered up some information on the specifics of how much money it makes from sponsorship programs with major retailers.
Earlier this year, Niantic launched a Pokemon GO promotion in Japan where players could visit participating McDonald’s locations and receive special items. Earlier this week, the studio’s vice president of strategic partnerships, Mathieu de Fayet detailed how this arrangement played out from a financial perspective.
Brazil’s Globo newspaper quoted de Fayet as having said that partners like McDonald’s pay $0.15 for each visitor attracted to a participating location via the promotion. However, a Niantic spokesperson has since corrected that figure, stating that the company aims offer pricing of below $0.50 for each unique daily visit.
Given that de Fayet said that the game has already brought 500 million visitors to sponsored locations, and 2,000 visitors to each McDonald’s store at peak times, we can extrapolate how much money is being made. Using $0.15 per visitor as the baseline and $0.50 as the maximum, it seems that Niantic has made somewhere between $75 million and $250 million thanks to these sponsorships.
Pokemon GO was one of the biggest gaming success stories of 2017, but it’s lasting influence might come as a result of these partnerships with retail brands. The game is free-to-play, but it’s capable of making a lot of money because of its ability to corral users into real-world locations, where they can spend money on hamburgers and cups of coffee.
The only catch is that a game needs to be incredibly popular in order for its developers to be able to forge these partnerships with major brands. Pokemon GO is a unique project in many respects, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see other location-based titles attempt to follow its lead in coming years, assuming that they can garner a similarly large and passionate audience.
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android devices.