Pokémon Gamers Could Soon be Flocking to McDonald's

Pokémon Gamers Could Soon be Flocking to McDonald's
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Nintendo made $7.5 billion in just a few days from its new augmented game Pokémon Go -- and that’s just the start.

“There is a second component to our business model at Niantic, which is this concept of sponsored locations,” John Hanke, Chief Executive of Niantic, the development team of Pokémon Go, told the Financial Times.

Related: Pokemon GO Could Be Next Big Marketing Tool for Retailers

This component would draw Pokémon Go players to sponsored locations by making them gyms or Pokéstops -- and it looks as if that component is already in the works.

A 13-year-old student in Sydney, Australia, Manmeet Gill, decompiled the Android version of Pokémon Go and found a string that he believes indicates a sponsorship with McDonald's. The string hasn’t been activated for players yet.

“I found the string as I was scrolling through the metadata of the game,” Gill says. “It alludes to the McDonald’s stores being some kind of Pokémon store. It also says that it is a sponsorship.”

Related: How Entrepreneurs Are Cashing in on Pokémon Go

Several other coders including Redditor KcYoung and NeoProfessorWillow claim to have found the McDonald’s logo in the game’s code.

“Based off what I’ve found it looks like they’re going to hold a promo with McDonald’s which’ll turn them into all gyms,” NeoProfessorWillow told Gizmodo, via Reddit private message.

This would mean that in order to battle Pokémon, players would have to stop by a McDonald’s location.

The partnership is an intriguing one -- and opens the door to even more ways to capitalize on the first-ever hit mobile augmented reality game. reached out to McDonald’s and the Global Communications team declined to comment. More to come as this story develops.