Pokemon Go Japan Launch Delayed Because of...McDonald's?

...

Japanese gamers suffered a minor Pokemon Go setback this week: Game maker Niantic postponed today's scheduled release following an email leak.

Citing a source "close to the launch," TechCrunch said the title's afternoon arrival has been cancelled after internal communication abouthe launch from sponsor McDonald's Japan hit the Web. Concerned that hype generated by the email (not, you know, by the global phenomenon) would overload the game, Niantic and Nintendo aborted today's arrival.

The title could hit local smartphones as soon as this week, though a new date has not been specified. Neither Nintendo nor Niantic immediately responded to PCMag's request for comment.

This delay is more than a blow to Pokemon addicts in Japan: It also means a longer wait for the game's first "sponsored location."

Currently, Niantic earns revenue via in-app purchases of power-ups and virtual items. But paid deals that encourage players to visit a particular shop or bar could boost company earnings significantly.

Companies can "pay us to be locations within the virtual game board—the premise being that it is an inducement that drives foot traffic," CEO John Hanke told the Financial Times last week.

McDonald's, for example, has agreed to turn its 3,000 stores in Japan into "gyms," where players can battle over animated creatures.

In less than two weeks, Pokemon Go has taken over the world, attracting users young and old, authorized and unsavory. Even Homer Simpson loves playing the game.

But in your quest to catch 'em all, remember to pay attention to road traffic and local signage: Indonesian police reportedly detained a French man who wandered onto a military base while looking for new characters.

Romain Pierre, 27, was caught Monday evening at a military complex in Cirebon, according to The Guardian; he was released a few hours later. Visiting the city from Jakarta, Pierre "unintentionally entered the complex as he was hunting Pokemon while jogging," the local police spokesman said.

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