Have you found yourself wondering recently if you’re back in the 90s with all these Pokémon talks every corner you turn? Well, you are not alone. Within days of Niantic’s launch of Pokémon GO, the game has set all sorts of records already, and it’s not even available worldwide yet! (not officially, anyway). Now, according to the latest report, Pokémon GO is set to receive two new features in the near future.
First is trading. In a recent interview, Niantic’s CEO John Hanke confirmed that trading will soon be available, which is a welcome addition. Even back in the prehistoric Pokémon card era, trading Pokémons and items was half the fun.
Apart from trading, Pokémon GO might also see an update with “sponsored locations.” While not official, and with details unknown, this would allow businesses such as restaurants or cafes to pay Niantic to become sponsored locations in the game, whether they are Gyms, Pokéstops, or even special areas that harbor rare Pokémons.
Essentially, the introduction of sponsored locations would be a win-win for Niantic and the sponsoring businesses. The sponsored locations would see an increase in sales, and Pokémon GO’s revenue would soar even higher than it already has. There’s a precedent here: Niantic’s previous AR game, Ingress, had sponsored locations. For instance, all Jamba Juice restaurants functioned as in-game portals.
The success of these additions will largely depend on how Niantic chooses to implement them. Assuming that trading Pokémon won’t be between just friends but also strangers, it’d be interesting to see how the team behind Pokémon GO will create a safe and fair system through which users can trade their augmented reality monsters. Sponsored locations may sound like a capitalist ploy, but as long as Niantic accommodates the overwhelming amount of Pokémon catchers around the world, having sponsored locations might just be an ingenious move on their part.
What do you think? If you are a Pokémon GO user, do you see yourself going to these sponsored locations?