Niantic has launched its Local Business Recovery Initiative, which is designed to help small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.
The initiative will leverage the Pokemon Go user base, which has seen 576.7 million unique downloads worldwide, by listing businesses as in-game locations such as PokeStops or Gyms.
Niantic has selected 1,000 small businesses, from a list of 38,000 of player submissions from the UK, US, Canada, Mexico and Japan. Each business must operate no more than five storefronts, and follow local health and safety regulations. The chosen businesses will be added as sponsored locations to the game for the next year.
“Niantic’s Local Business Recovery Initiative is designed to spotlight many local businesses beloved by players and which have been negatively impacted by the global pandemic,” said Niantic senior product manager for sponsorships Carla Li.
“Becoming a sponsored location will drive awareness and aid in the recovery of both the businesses and the communities which they serve.”
Pokemon Go has seen significant growth in recent months, despite the pandemic. According to data from Sensor Tower, the game has surpassed $3.6 Billion in lifetime revenue, with $445.3 million of that coming in the first half of 2020.
The game has seen some significant changes since the outbreak of COVID-19, in order to encourage users to stay at home and observe social distancing.