Fast food might soon come with a side of Pokemon (confirmed)

Pokemon Go developer Niantic says sponsored locations are coming to the massively popular game. It looks like McDonald's might be first in line.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister

"Would you like Pokemon with that?" One day soon, McDonald's might ask you that question.

That's because Pokemon Go, the mobile sensation that may now be more popular than Facebook, will allow companies to pay to have their real-world locations appear on the game's virtual map.


The McDonald's logo found inside the game's code.


John Hanke, CEO of Pokemon Go developer Niantic, said the game will include "sponsored locations" in the future, according to an interview with The New York Times earlier this week.

Which companies might be first? McDonald's seems a likely candidate because references to the company and even an image of its logo already appear inside the game's software code.

Also, a Gizmodo report Thursday cited an anonymous source who says McDonald's is not only a sponsor for Pokemon Go, but is set to launch that sponsorship in a single country in Asia soon. Every McDonald's restaurant in that country might appear on players' maps as a virtual destination to visit and interact with, the report said.

Neither Niantic nor Nintendo nor McDonalds immediately responded to requests for comment.

Some businesses reportedly are already trying to cash in on Pokemon Go simply by playing the game. They are using an in-game object called a "lure" to attract the virtual creatures -- and players looking to capture them -- to their restaurants and stores.

At the very least, the businesses are hoping to create some buzz and get customers to stick around long enough to make a purchase.

Update: The McDonalds' partnership has been confirmed, but only in Japan.