At the beginning of June, Pokemon GO developer Niantic pledged to donate a minimum of $5 million from Pokemon GO Fest 2020 ticket sales as part of their social justice drive.
However, following the success of this year’s Pokemon GO Fest, Niantic have now doubled their original pledge and have announced that they will be donating over $10 million of proceeds. Half of this mammoth donation will go towards funding new projects from black game developers in order to “increase content that represents a more diverse view on the world”, and the other half towards U.S. not-for-profit organisations supporting local communities.
Alongside their $10 million donation, the developer has also announced that it will be offering free in-game promotions to 1,000 small businesses in Pokemon GO over the coming year. This move forms part of Niantic’s Local Business Recovery Initiative which encourages Pokemon GO players to nominate small and local businesses to Niantic to be considered for in-game promotion.
According to the developer, the free in-game promotion will see the physical locations of small businesses become sponsored Pokestops or Gyms on the Pokemon GO map. Additionally, the selected businesses will be given access to in-game marketing tools to help promote their services.
According to Niantic, Pokemon GO players have already nominated over 33,000 small businesses and the developer will now spend the coming weeks looking through the nominations to select the final 1,000 businesses for in-game promotion.
The team at Niantic have been pretty vocal when it comes to addressing racial inequality and the supporting Black Lives Matter Movement. Last month, John Hanke, Niantic CEO, made public an internal memo which outlined various initiatives to be taken by the company as part of their social justice drive.
Aside from donating $10 million from Pokemon GO Fest ticket sales and offering free in-game promotions, Niantic are also donating $100,000 to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute to support the Black trans community and are encouraging employees to educate themselves on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Words by Charlotte King
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