'Pokémon Go' Delayed in Japan Due to Leaked McDonald's Sponsorship Details

by

Niantic has decided to postpone the launch of Pokémon Go in Japan today, due to an unexpected email leak that revealed details about the company's rumored sponsor partnership with food chain McDonald's. A source close to the company confirmed the delay to TechCrunch, referring to a specific email chain between Pokémon Go's creators and McDonald's as the reason behind the move.

The two companies -- in addition to The Pokémon Company and Nintendo itself, presumably -- believed that the all-but-confirmed launch of Pokémon Go in the country would create a hype that "would overload the game" for a lot of its players, not just within Japan. The creators of Pokémon Go now hope that a restructured, less publicly expected launch will prepare the game's servers for an influx of players in the country that will undoubtedly be quite high.

Pokemon Go gameplay 2
When Pokémon Go does launch in Japan, it will be the first territory to introduce sponsored retail partnerships, which aim to lure players to restaurants like McDonald's in order to generate revenue for both Niantic and the corporate food chain. According to these sources close to the launch, all 3,000 McDonald's locations in Japan will be turned into gyms where players can battle opposing teams to take over the location, or train their Pokémon with teammates if they've already conquered the gym. It's unclear if any locations will be PokéStops instead of gyms.

The debut of Pokémon Go in Japan is now said to be "imminent," with a report from Nikkei suggesting the new launch date could be as soon as tomorrow, July 21. Over the weekend, the game launched in Canada and 26 countries across Europe, and it's already been available in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. Japan will mark its first launch in Asia, with an expected rollout to other countries in the region in the coming weeks.

Thanks to Pokémon Go's success, Nintendo's market value has more than doubled since the game launched earlier in July. The company is now worth $42.5 billion, and it even broke the single-day trading record in Tokyo last Friday when $4.5 billion worth of stock was traded. Nintendo's new valuation now puts it ahead of Sony, which has a market cap sitting around $40 billion.

Top Rated Comments

IAmGLaDOS Avatar
59 months ago
Oh thank goodness, I was worrying there wasn't going to be another Pokémon GO article today.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BrodieApple Avatar
59 months ago
Here come the Pokemon Go article complainers
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
59 months ago
I was really hoping this game would be community sourcing important locations, not just letting the McDonalds and Starbucks of the world sponsor them.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
japanime Avatar
59 months ago
We don't need Pokemon GO. We catch real-live Pokemon here in Japan every day. :D
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coumerelli Avatar
59 months ago
Somebody at Nintindo is saying "I told you so." #freetheplatform
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
59 months ago
Wasn't Pokémon conceived in Japan? Ironic that it was slow to launch there.

Even though I've never played this (doubt it would work on my aging iPhone 4), I think it's a genius creation! Just wondering how long it will last. One thing is for sure.... there's going to be a ton of other entrants into this field now. Expect many, many more "games" and apps launching with similar augmented-reality features. Nintendo really has come out with a game-changer. :P
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a month after Apple released the first betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
caldigit thunderbolt 4 dock featured

CalDigit Introduces USB-C Dock With 10 Ports and Up to 94W Charging for Macs [Updated]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 9:16 am PST by
CalDigit today unveiled a new Thunderbolt 4 dock with a wide selection of connectivity options, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dock also has a Thunderbolt 4 port that allows it to be connected to a Mac with a single cable, with up to 94W of pass-through charging for the latest MacBook...