Niantic announced that it has officially launched “Niantic Local Business Recovery Initiative” to support small businesses.
When it was first announced back in June, Niantic had asked Pokémon GO players in the U.S, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Japan to nominate their favorite local businesses “as places of interest in the game, which adds those businesses to the game map, and subsequently helps drive awareness and commerce”. After this announcement, the company received more than 38,000 nominee suggestions from Pokémon GO players.
Niantic selected 1,000 local companies from the list of 38,000 businesses and announced that it will start to add these businesses to the Pokémon Go world as sponsored locations for the next year, for free.
“This year, many local businesses have faced unprecedented levels of hardship brought on by the global pandemic.“ said Carla Li, Niantic Senior Product Manager for Sponsorships. “Becoming a sponsored location will highlight these businesses for our Explorers and aid in the recovery of the businesses and the communities which they serve.”
Niantic also plans to empower those 1,000 local businesses in later times to run promotional campaigns to reach players nearby and to take in other in-game events and new features. The company will also enable the businesses to appear in other Niantic titles in the near future.
Last week, Tsunekazu Ishihara, the President and CEO of Pokémon Company, also announced that Pokémon GO and Pokémon Home will be linked up before the end of this year. With this integration, Pokémon you’ve caught in Pokémon GO will be able to set off on an adventure in the world of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield by way of Pokémon Home.