You want fries with your Psyduck? If a snippet of code found in the Pokemon app has been correctly parsed, McDonald’s could soon be a sponsored location within the Pokemon Go app.
Deep within the app’s code there’s a curious mention of McDonald’s; specifically, it reads Sponsored.McDonalds, suggesting that the game will have sponsored locations.
That’s not too surprising, though. Ninatic Labs, the company that built Pokemon Go (and Ingress, which we should now consider a ‘proof of concept’ for Pokemon if nothing else) has previously said there would be sponsored locations in the app.
It’s just not clear what those sponsorships mean. Speaking to Gizmodo, one of the peopple who found the code said it could be for gyms. There were also a few other curiosities, suggesting this game will just never end (read: go away):
Unpacking game the data has also led to some unusual discoveries about game mechanics that aren’t currently available on the user side, according to NPW. These include a legendary monsters, a trading system, four additional types of berries and incense, an item called “sweet honey,” and natures like “stoic” and “raider” that might have some effect on trainers or Pokémon themselves.
Pokemon Go — to McDonald’s?
Sponsored locations are a smart move by Niantic and Nintendo. Though Pokemon has caused a stock spike for Nintendo (which could lead to bigger and better things), the game itself needs a strong monetization strategy.
And if the mobile game has the durability that the brand has always enjoyed, there’s reason to think we’ll see more of this type of thing.
But likely not many. Pokemon Go is kid-friendly app, and there aren’t many worldwide chains that give you both terrible food and crap toys to go along with your Pokeballs.
And to that, maybe we’ll see Pokemon Happy Meal toys and the McDonald’s, Niantic and Nintendo era can officially begin.