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
103 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
103 months ago
Here come the Pokemon Go article complainers
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
103 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
103 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
103 months ago
Somebody at Nintindo is saying "I told you so." #freetheplatform
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
103 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)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Report: These 10 New AI Features Are Coming in iOS 18

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:57 pm PDT by
iOS 18 and macOS 15 will offer an array of new AI features such as auto-generated emojis, suggested replies to emails and messages, and more, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. A significant portion of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is expected to focus on AI features. Writing his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that Apple's AI strategy emphasizes providing...
new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

Gurman: iOS 18 Will Allow Users to Recolor App Icons and Place Them Anywhere

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:22 pm PDT by
Apple's iOS 18 update will introduce new features for further customizing the iPhone's home screen, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman claimed that Apple will allow users to change the color of app icons in iOS 18. For example, "you can make all your social icons blue or finance-related ones green." This kind of home screen...
Apple iPhone 14 color lineup feature

Apple Now Selling Refurbished iPhone 14 Models

Friday May 24, 2024 11:15 am PDT by
Apple today added refurbished iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max devices to its online store for refurbished products, offering the prior-generation iPhones at a discount for the first time since their 2022 launch. The iPhone 14 is available starting at $619, the iPhone 14 Pro is available starting at $759, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max is available starting at $849. ...
top stories 25may2024

Top Stories: iOS 17.5.1 Fixes Concerning Photos Bug, All-New iPhone 17 Model Rumored, and More

Saturday May 25, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
It's been quite a week of Apple news and rumors, ranging from a concerning bug with deleted photos reappearing on users' devices to hot rumors about a new high-end iPhone model for 2025 and a MacBook with a foldable screen coming as soon as 2026. Other news and rumors this week included fresh expectations for iOS 18 features and new headphones from Sonos to compete head-to-head with AirPods...