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Pokémon Go Japan launch begins retail partnerships

It doesn’t take a big stretch of the imagination to consider what’s financially possible with a game that can have people congregate in certain areas. That’s why now that Pokémon Go is finally available in Japan, more than 3,000 of its Gyms are located at McDonald’s restaurants.

This is the first partnership developer Niantic has made with its augmented reality game and the success, or lack thereof, will give us an indication of what we can expect in the future. With McDonald’s as Gyms, players will be drawn there and may then eat and those already eating may play a bit of Pokémon Go while they do so.

Although you could perhaps make some interesting comments about putting a game that encourages gentle exercise in a place that sells fast food, this is likely only a sign of things to come. It would make a lot of sense for Niantic to do deals with other businesses, possibly releasing rare Pokémon at launch events for other products or services, to draw in extra crowds which may then filter over to whatever else is available.

Whatever happens in the future though, right now Pokémon Go is a smash hit in Japan, as expected and the servers seem to be just about holding up – that extra delay may well have been worth it.

Delays and connection problems with the app aside, Pokémon Go could be Nintendo’s biggest success story of the year. The company’s stock has jumped by a huge margin in recent weeks, even beating out Sony at one point. The potential for more augmented reality apps is there, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see something similar for other Nintendo properties in the future.

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KitGuru Says: The real question at this point is what is the game’s longevity like? How many of you have stopped playing already?

[Thanks EG]

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