Pokemon GO is rolling out Sponsored Gifts, which has been slightly divisive among the community.
Free mobile games accepting advertisements is nothing new or unexpected. The advertisers on Pokemon GO are slightly unique, though. Instead of other mobile games being advertised, real-life businesses such as Baskin Robins are using the game to advertise.
So what exactly are these Sponsored Gifts that companies are bringing into existence by paying Niantic?
Sponsored Gift in Pokemon GO
In its most basic form, a Sponsored Gift is a rare drop from spinning Pokestops or gyms or from raids. By spinning the Photodiscs at Pokestops or gyms or after beating a Pokemon in a raid, players can claim rewards.
Occasionally, an ad will pop up in one form or another. By tapping on this ad, players will receive a Sponsored Gift directly from that sponsor. It will even have a message from said sponsor, though it will likely just be further advertising.
All sorts of items have been confirmed to drop from these uncommon Sponsored Gifts. Various strengths of potions and balls have been confirmed, as well as stardust and even rare candies.
These rewards are also based on individual accounts. Just because fifteen players participated in a raid and one player received a Sponsored Gift does not mean that all fifteen players will receive a Sponsored Gift. This makes every individual's experience in Pokemon GO just a little more unique.
In addition, Niantic has implemented an honorable feature that child accounts will not receive these Sponsored Gifts. It's nice to see a company that's willing to not shove rewards and advertisements in the face of children just for some extra cash.
The player is also not required to view a Sponsored Gift. They cannot receive the rewards contained within without opening it, but it is possible to opt-out entirely should players not wish to view these ads.
Or, conversely, should the player actually be interested in the advertised product, there will be a specific button labeled "learn more" upon opening the gift.
This means that unlike with many advertisements on other mobile games, players cannot accidentally go to whatever site or information the ad wants to send players to just by randomly tapping, which is convenient as well.
Despite having the title of "gift," Sponsored Gifts are in no way related to the gifts that can be sent between friends in Pokemon GO.