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Pokémon GO explores wearable tech

News, 21 November 2016

LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO: Pokémon GO, the surprise hit game of the summer, is being lined up to expand into more global markets as well as into wearable tech and promotional in-game events, the CMO of its development company has said.

Speaking to Marketing Week at the recent Web Summit event, Mike Quigley, CMO of Niantic Labs, explained that branching out into these new areas and global markets would help drive both user and brand engagement.

"We launched on day one with both in-app purchases and paid sponsors, such as McDonald's in Japan. Since then we have added other partners like SoftBank Mobile and mobile carrier Globe in the Philippines. It's nice to have both of those revenue schemes working strongly from day one," he said.

"A combination of a strong roadmap, releasing new features and in-game events is keeping us focused. You can expect to see more of those paid sponsors get integrated in the weeks and months ahead," he added.

"It gives us a second revenue stream, a way to introduce commercial locations to the game and it's also great for the brands because we can drive footfall to their stores."

Niantic only recently started exploring the possibilities presented by wearable tech when it launched the Pokémon GO Plus wrist device in September, but the game also will become available on the Apple Watch by the end of this year.

The company also launched the first Pokémon GO in-game event last month to coincide with Halloween and found the initiative boosted the average number of daily active users by 13.2% over a two-week promotional period.

While Niantic pursues these developments and seeks to add new partnership sponsors, Quigley explained that the company remains focused on introducing new features to enhance the game. And one of the possibilities lies in augmented reality (AR) technology.

"Some of the things we're doing speak to the opportunities of AR and wearable technology. We think wearable tech is one of those key areas that could help unlock the potential of AR," he said.

"We keep an eye on the horizon, it's a marathon not a sprint for us," he added. "We're in it for the long haul and we just need to continue to innovate and add new features big and small, as well as in-game events."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff