Niantic, the company that makes Pokemon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, has revealed that the maps in their games will be getting some new additions in the form of small business.
According to a new Blog post the AR game developer, Niantic, is setting up a program where owners of small and medium-sized businesses can apply to have their brick and mortar locations added to the Gameboard, which is Niantic’s name for the maps used to generate points of interest in their games. Interested business owners can submit locations to the BETA for the new program here. The sponsorship program has two tiers, one priced at $1 per day, which adds a Poke Stop at the business location and another at $2 per day, which creates a Pokemon Gym at the location and lets the business schedule a mini-game, like a raid, once a month. The question that businesses need to answer before signing up, though, is whether their clientele plays Pokemon Go or not.
This new sponsorship program seems to be in line with the direction Niantic is taking with their games of diversifying the types of places that players can go to play their games. Originally Pokemon Go and Niantic’s first game AR game, Ingress, relied on public landmarks like parks, places of worship, and art installations to populate the map with Poke Stops and Ingress Nodes, or whatever they’re called in Ingress. After the popularity of Pokemon Go, Niantic formed partnerships with select national brands, like Starbucks and McDonalds, to allow sponsored locations in their games at some brick and mortar locations. Last month Niantic also announced that some high-level players of Pokemon Go would be allowed to vote locations suggested by the wider community onto the Gameboard through the new Wayfarer program.
What small business would you like to become a Poke Stop?
Stephen Krusel, known as Sven Kroosl to some, has played video and tabletop games since 1987 and has written about the gaming industry since 2008. He has yet to be convinced that Final Fantasy Tactics is not the pinnacle of gaming.