Pokémon GO has proven to be rather lucrative for McDonald’s Japan, who was listed as the first sponsored PokéStop following the game’s launch in the country. For those who are new to Pokémon GO, it’s an augmented reality game that tasks players with exploring the real world around them. In it, there are locations called PokéStops which house potentially useful items that players can pick up upon visiting them. After the game’s initial launch, Niantic, the game’s creators, talked about their plans for sponsored PokéStops as a partnership with local businesses in various regions where the game is available. McDonald’s Japan was the first company to be on this list, and it’s so far done wonders for their profits.
According to a new report, the month that Pokémon GO was launched in Japan (last month) resulted in an increase in McDonald’s profits in the country by at least 27 percent, which is no small amount considering that it hasn’t even been a full month since the game launched in the region. While this certainly bodes well for McDonald’s Japan, it’s also likely that other McDonald’s locations around the globe will foster similar partnerships after seeing the profit jump, and it may just be enough to convince other businesses to do the same and partner up with Niantic.
In addition to a jump in profits, McDonald’s Japan has also stated that there will be no need to make any more strategic store closures, which was likely a cost cutting measure for the company to begin with. This also means that there will be no more lost jobs as the remaining locations will get to stay open. On the face of things the PokéStop partnership certainly looks to benefit mostly the player, as well as the business itself since it has more potential to bring in profit from the uptick in customers visiting their locations. More subtly, it also benefits the employees working at the remaining stores that are slated to continue operating thanks to the business that this partnership has driven. Having said that, it’s been highlighted that McDonald’s Japan will likely still end up selling a stake in it’s business as was planned previously, even with the profit rise coming from the game partnership.