Now that Pokémon GO has been out for a bit, conversations are beginning to turn towards whether or not the game will remain relevant in the coming months and years. Though Pokémon GO had an undisputedly successful launch, it's natural that the playerbase will level off in time. Niantic makes plenty of money on the game already through in app purchases, and John Hanke recently spoke a bit about the economics behind the app.
Hanke is quick to point out that he's a gamer first and that the quality of the game design is a top priority. That being said, Niantic still has to keep the lights on somehow, and it's currently trying to figure that balance between sponsorship deals and in app purchases. Here's what Hanke has to say:
I grew up with computer games and video games. I love making them and playing them. We wanted to always preserve the integrity of game design if possible. We felt like it would be great to be able to complement IAP with a sponsorship model that was economically strong, economically viable, to take a bit of the pressure off IAP so that we could protect ourselves from ourselves. We wouldn't have to cave to that pressure to dial it up a bit more.
Though no sponsorship deals have materialized anywhere outside of Japan yet, it's likely only a matter of time before some arrangements are put in place. Moving on, he discusses the impact that the game has had on local businesses, where close proximity to a Pokéstop or gym leads to increased foot traffic and sales.
We did early studies on that back in the Ingress days. Gamers will memorise the locations of these local businesses, they'll visit them more frequently, and they'll make purchases when they're there. Then you see that ad hoc validation from all the small businesses that have adapted that strategy themselves, just buying lures through in-app purchases and applying them to Pokéstops nearby. Some of them have published ROI metrics around that. There are how-to guides for businesses about how to use Pokémon. That's really cool.
What do you think? Has Pokémon GO caused you to visit certain places more often than you used to? What kind of sponsorship deals would you like to see in the future? Share your thoughts in the comments below.