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Pokemon Go Launches In Japan, McDonalds Scores First Sponsorship

Nintendo’s infectious AR game for smartphones finally came to Japan over the weekend.

The homeland of the franchise, Japanese players were assuredly delighted to finally have the chance to experience the game – with Nintendo’s shares rising 4% as a result.

The country’s National Center for Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity government agency released a nine-point set of guidelines for young people to stay safe while playing and the government’s chief cabinet secretary,  Yoshihide Suga, even issued warning of his own concerning the game.

The launch coincided with the start of Japan’s summer school holidays, helping boosting its profile.

ChannelNews spoke to an Australian international student, currently studying in Hokkaido, who told us “within a few hours, all the gyms near my house had been taken. If you go somewhere with lots of PokeStops, it’s covered in people staring at their phones.”

“Even though I live in a very small city, there’s so many people playing it and I’ve already met new people through it.”

The other major pillar supporting the game’s Japanese was an official partnership between the game and fast-food chain McDonalds.  

The partnership will see more than 2,500 McDonalds stores become official PokeStops and PokeGyms, drawing additional foot traffic for the restaurant.

It’s the first official sponsorship for the game, with more expected to follow.

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