Pokémon GO fans in Japan are rejoicing as the location-based augmented reality app is finally available in the country.
The free-to-play Pokémon GO, which has been developed by Niantic Labs for iOS and Android, made way to many markets except Japan in early July. The game developer revealed that due to server capacity concerns Pokémon GO was delayed in the country.
Previously, the game was set to be launched in Japan on July 20 but it was canceled after a leaked internal email went viral. Niantic did not reveal a new release date for Pokémon GO but it is now officially available in Japan.
"To everyone in Japan: I am sorry to make you wait for so long. Pokémon GO can now be played in Japan," said Jyunichi Masuda, the head of development at Game Freak, the developer of the original Pokémon game.
While a majority of video games are played from the comfort of a player's living room, Niantic has taken a new approach. Niantic's CEO John Hanke says that the company wanted to develop a game that will make gamers go outdoors, get some exercise, discover exciting new places and have fun. Pokémon GO will offer all these to gamers but Hanke advised players to be careful while playing Pokémon GO.
"When you go out to play, keep your head up, look around, enjoy the world around you and be safe," said Hanke.
International fast food chain McDonald's has also become the first sponsored partner of Pokémon GO, which will result in a potential revenue expansion for Niantic beyond the in-app purchases. Financial details of the deal with McDonalds remain unknown.
The fast food chain has about 3,000 locations in Japan. About 400 McDonalds location in Japan can be used as "gyms" where Pokémon GO players can battle. Other locations will serve as "Pokestops," where players can get "Poke Balls" and other items they need for the game.
To capitalize on the deal, McDonalds has also started Pokémon-themed Happy Meals, which is expected to increase its revenue.
Pokémon GO has already received a lot of popularity after its launch. The game was downloaded more than 8 million times within the first week. Reports suggest that Pokémon GO now has more than 30 million downloads across the world.
Japan is the birth place of Pokémon and the franchise has great fan following in the country. Although, the game was delayed in Japan, many players will be waiting to download and play Pokémon GO at the earliest.