It turns out the Japanese will have to wait a wee bit longer to play Pokémon Go in the place that started it all.
A source with knowledge of the announcement told TechCrunch today. One of the biggest reasons for the launch being pushed back is the leaked internal email from McDonald’s, the mobile game’s first sponsor, that made its way to Japanese forums and image site Imgur.
The source also claims Google-spinoff Niantic Labs, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company have decided to put off Pokémon Go plans in Japan until tomorrow, fearing public knowledge of the game’s exact launch date could cause further server problems.
Not that previous rollouts across Europe have been free of server issues, despite the people having no idea when it would come. We’re not confident the game could cope with the traffic in Japan, anyway.
Japan’s Nikkei said the game could come online as early as tomorrow, or later this week, which got us wondering when it will be playable in the country. In any case, Pokémon Go will see Japan as its first location with a tie-in sponsor.
Previous reports indicate the fast-food chain had planned to use its over 3,000 locations as Pokémon Go gyms, where players can battle it out with their captured pokémon.
The restaurants will also sell Happy Meals with limited-edition Pokémon toys inside. An exclusive comic book will be handed out at McDonald’s Japan stores as well. All of which are expected to drive unprecedented foot traffic.
To say Pokémon Go has been well-received so far is an understatement. Since its debut in the U.S., which wasn’t too long ago, it has surpassed Twitter’s daily users and has seen more people spending time on the app than on Facebook. It has been downloaded over 30 million times; generated $35 million in revenue; and doubled the market value of Nintendo.
Pokémon Go is currently available in more than 30 countries, including Australia, the U.S., and most of Europe. Japan is believed to be the first country in Asia to launch the game. Other countries in the region are expected to follow suit over the coming weeks.