Apr 02, 2020 | Updated: 10:23 AM EDT

McDonald’s Japan Pays Niantic 50 Cents Per Visitor For Serving As Gym & PokeStop For ‘Pokemon GO’

Jun 01, 2017 03:04 PM EDT


Large amounts of money moved around when McDonald’s in Japan became a gym for the game “Pokemon GO.” Mathieu de Fayet, the vice president of Niantic of strategic partnerships, told a Brazilian newspaper that for each visitor to a sponsor establishment, such as McDonald’s, Niantic was paid by the sponsor 15 cents for every visitor. However, Niantic clarified the figure 15 cents is a translation error since the correct amount is 50 cents or half a dollar.

Tech Crunch reckons that at the peak of “Pokemon GO’s” popularity in Japan, about 2,000 players visited a McDonald’s outlet daily. If de Fayet’s figure of 15 cents was right, it estimates that Niantic earned about $75 million. But if the corrected amount of 50 cents is the basis, it means McDonald’s Japan shelled out $250 million to Niantic.

The figures were based on 3,000 McDonald’s in Japan. Broken down on a daily basis, it means the Golden Arches paid Niantic daily from a low of $900,000 to a high of $3 million when the fast-food chain serves as a gym where gamers win for their team via a virtual battle. Or as a PokeStop where “Pokemon GO” players gather eggs and Poke Balls they use to catch more monsters.

Comic Book notes that tapping corporate sponsors is a win-win situation for Niantic and the commercial establishments because “Pokemon GO” boosts a store’s foot traffic and sales. Other than McDonald’s, other establishments that have signed in as corporate sponsors of the game are Sprint with 10,500 locations and Starbucks which have 7,800 outlets.

However, the bulk of the secondary income goes to Niantic, the developer of “Pokemon GO.” It is because Niantic pays the Pokemon Company a licensing fee, but Nintendo holds only a 32 percent stake in Pokemon Company. The craze for the game has died down, but even with Sprint getting 25 visitors daily, Niantic would still earn almost $4 million in sponsorship money.

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