Finally, the long wait is over for Japanese Pokémon trainers as Pokémon Go is set to launch in Japan tomorrow, July 20, a source revealed to TechCrunch today.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Niantic CEO John Hanke mentioned that the game’s rollout was staggered to ensure that the Pokémon Go servers were ready for the additional demand that each regional launch would bring. Japan, being the birthplace of the monster-catching phenomenon, could potentially be their biggest market after all.
Alongside the Japanese launch, Niantic has also partnered with McDonald’s Japan to bring sponsored Pokémon Go gyms to local trainers. Niantic and McDonald’s Japan’s partnership is the first major collaboration for the Pokémon Go franchise, and more businesses are expected to follow suit in the weeks to come. Around 3,000 McDonald’s stores all over Japan will become official Pokémon gyms, thanks to the deal.
With Japan’s impending launch, it’s only a matter of time before Pokémon Go is released in other Asian countries, including the Philippines.
With the country being a major smartphone market, do you think Niantic will be partnering with one of the local telcos or business conglomerates for promotional purposes? Imagine your local Jollibee or 7-11 as an official Pokémon Go gym. Soon, trainers, soon.