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McDonalds monetizes Pokémon Go

3,000 Japan outlets are target-rich environments for players of hit mobile video game
pokeman mcdonalds

McDonalds restaurants is the first and likely not the last franchise to cash in on the hit Pokémon Go game from Niantic Labs.

In July, McDonalds became the first sponsored location for the app. About 3,000 McDonald’s restaurants in Japan became “gyms”, feeding hungry Pokémon Go players as they wait for the app characters to appear.

McDonalds has credited the app tie-in for a boost in sales – and hinted the link may be rolled out to McDonalds in other countries.

“Our relationship with [game developer] Niantic is driven by the Japanese team. It is a global phenomenon, clearly, and we always want to talk to leadership partners around the world,” said Steve Easterbrook,  CEO of McDonalds.

In a recent interview with Forbes magazine, Pokémon Go creator John Hanke indicated that other businesses could partner with the hugely popular app.

 “My belief is that the sponsored-location model is a better business model for games. That’s what we’re trying to do and it will provide a compliment to in-app purchase. In app-purchase will be the majority of the revenue, but it does take some of the pressure off of us to squeeze hard on the purchase side which would be detrimental to the game.”

And everyone wants a piece of the pie. “We’ve been bombarded be people saying, ‘Please, please, please,'” said Hanke. “To have all the potential customers asking to be part of the program, is great.”