Niantic CEO John Hanke has stated that the sponsorship tie-ins for Pokemon GO will keep the developer from relying on microtransactions.
“My belief is that the sponsored-location model is a better business model for games,” Hanke explained to Forbes. “…it will provide a compliment to in-app purchase. In app-purchase will be the majority of the revenue, but it does take some of the pressure off of us to squeeze hard on the purchase side which would be detrimental to the game.”
Hanke explains that the idea for the sponsored location model came from Niantic’s last game, Ingress: “We incorporated that sponsored location model into Ingress the day it was launched. The idea was to build an alternative to in-app purchase based on idea that in-app purchase exerts a lot of pressure on game design that can lead to games that are not very much fun to play even if they make a lot of money.”
Hanke also briefly explained how we could expect to see new Pokemon being added to Pokemon GO: “Well there are a number of threads that you will start to see. You will see new Pokemon come into the game around special events at certain times in certain parts of the world. You’ll see us do some things around events.”
Hanke then gave his reasoning behind his unwillingness to talk: “Some of this, it’s not like we’re withholding our secret plan from you. We intend to iterate and work on these specs right up until the moment it ships. Stuff evolves until the last minute.”
Pokemon GO is available on Android and iOS devices.