Niantic says it’s making lots of money off sponsored Pokémon Go stops and particularly cashed out during the height of the game’s popularity last year. In interviews with Brazil’s Globo paper and TechCrunch, Niantic said that it charges anywhere from 15 to 50 cents for each visitor that the game draws to a sponsored location. There’s some uncertainty about the exact cost of a visit, but the figures imply that Niantic could be making millions of dollars off players.
Niantic VP of strategic partnerships Mathieu de Fayet told Globo that its partners pay 15 cents for every visitor, and that the company has already attracted 500 million visitors around the world. Every activated McDonald’s store in Japan attracted up 2,000 visitors a day, he says.
When Techcrunch double-checked these numbers with the company, Niantic said that in actuality, sponsorships cost up to 50 cents per unique visit. Using Fayet’s 15 cent pricing and his 500 million visitors figure, that could translate to $75 million in revenue. At 50 cents per visit, that revenue would jump to $250 million.
In December, Niantic announced that it was partnering with Starbucks to turn 7,800 stores across the US into pokéstops or gyms. That deal coincided with the debut of a Pokémon Go-themed Frappuccino, which was designed to entice players. Sprint is also partnering with Niantic to turn 10,500 stores into gyms and pokéstops.
It isn’t clear how popular the game is following it viral release last summer, but still, over the past few months, Niantic launched new pokémon, debuted the game on the Apple Watch, and expanded to new markets. Pokémon Go’s publisher, The Pokémon Company, says following the release of this game and Game Freak’s Pokémon Sun and Moon, its profits rose to $143.3 million — nearly 26 times the profit it made the previous year. Clearly neither Niantic nor The Pokémon Company are going to let Pokémon Go die yet, especially if everyone’s still profiting big time.