Pokemon Go Launching in Japan Tomorrow, McDonald's Partnership Confirmed - Report

Niantic had previously said it wasn't confident that servers in Japan would hold up.


Pokemon Go, the wildly popular mobile game where you catch creatures in the real world, will launch in The Pokemon Company's home country of Japan tomorrow, July 20. That's according to sources speaking to TechCrunch, who also confirmed the game's McDonald's partnership.

John Hanke, the CEO of Pokemon Go developer Niantic Labs, previously said the studio was holding back the release in Japan until it was confident in the server capacity. Some doubted that a July release was possible and suggested September might be more likely, but according to this new report, it won't be long at all until gamers in Japan can play.

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The site also reports that, as rumored, McDonald's will become Pokemon Go's first sponsored location. According to the report, more than 3,000 McDonald's establishments in Japan will become Pokemon Gyms as part of the partnership. Whether or not the partnership will be extended to other regions, like the US or UK, remains to be seen.

Hanke told The New York Times recently that Niantic had already signed sponsorship deals with a number of companies, though no official announcements have been made.

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McDonald's is already benefiting from the Pokemon Go craze. According to Bloomberg, shares of the fast food company rose 23 percent recently, representing the biggest daily surge since it was listed on the Japanese stock exchange in July 2001. Why? The fact that the restaurant started giving away Pokemon figures with its Happy Meals on Friday probably had something to do with it.

In other Pokemon Go news, retailer GameStop recently revealed how it's benefiting from the game's release, while Homer Simpson is also playing it.

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