Gotta catch ’em all…at McDonald’s.
The rumors were right. Fast food company McDonald’s today announced that it is partnering with Niantic Labs for a Pokemon Go promotion, though specifics are still light.
According to a previous report, more than 3,000 McDonald’s locations across Japan will become Pokemon Go gyms as part of the promotion. However, the official statement, reported by Kotaku, quotes McDonald’s Japan as saying, “This was not an announcement our company made.”
The first report also said Pokemon Go would launch in Japan today, July 20, but so far, it hasn’t. McDonald’s Japan said Niantic is “diligently preparing” to launch the game in Japan. Previously, it was reported that Niantic was not confident that the servers would hold up.
McDonald’s Japan did not say when its Pokemon Go promotion will begin, only commenting that it should start “soon,” presumably sometime after the game launches in the country.
Whether or not the partnership will be extended to other regions, like the US or UK, remains to be seen. Niantic CEO John Hanke told The New York Timesrecently that the developer had already signed sponsorship deals with a number of companies, though no partners beyond McDonald’s have been announced yet.
McDonald’s is already benefiting from the Pokemon Go craze. According to Bloomberg, shares of the fast food company rose 23 percent recently, representing the biggest daily surge since it was listed on the Japanese stock exchange in July 2001. Why? The fact that the restaurant started giving away Pokemon figures with its Happy Meals on Friday probably had something to do with it.
In other Pokemon Go news, someone in Baltimore was reportedly distracted by Pokemon Go and hit a parked police car, while “Pokemon” has been added to the dictionary. What a time to be alive.