Pokemon Go already offers in-app purchases, but developer Niantic has found another way for the game to make money.
Niantic CEO John Hanke suggested in an interview with the Financial Times that advertisements will soon be coming to the game in the form of "sponsored locations." Pokemon Go will offer retailers and other companies the option to sponsor locations, and advertisers would pay Niantic based on the number of visits they receive as a result of the game.
Niantic offered similar sponsorship deals with another game, Ingress, in which it had partnered up with retailers like Duane Reade, Jamba Juice, and Zipcar. "There are several ways that we see the potential for significant monetization of Pokemon Go by Nintendo, and one of them is certainly the potential for paid advertising or paid deals that encourage players to come to a particular building or store," Atul Goyal, analyst at Jefferies, told the Financial Times. "It is a huge opportunity."
At least one business has already seen some success using the game, even though it hasn't paid to be a sponsored location. A New York pizzeria paid for a $10 in-app purchase that attracted Pokemon to its store. The New York Post reported that business at the restaurant subsequently boomed 75%.
Pokemon Go launched last week, and within just 24 hours became one of the most popular games in the U.S. this year. It's on track to soon become bigger than Snapchat, possibly in the next couple of days.