Japan braces for launch of Pokemon Go app

"To everyone in Japan: I am sorry to make you wait for so long", said Jyunichi Masuda, the head of development at Game Freak Inc., the developer of the original Pokemon game.

User reaction in Japan was ecstatic. For instance, the company does not necessarily state whether it is a downtime or not-as experienced when the game launched in Japan this Friday. But that didn't dampen her enthusiasm.

The augmented reality game uses smartphone cameras to superimpose the cute, digital creatures on real-world settings.

Pokemon GO has already been a major success globally, and that will probably be added to greatly by the Japanese market- Japan loves Pokemon, social games, and mobile games, and Pokemon GO is all three at once. We originally reported that the game would be delayed another two weeks with Niantic aiming to get the game out before the end of July, but in a stroke of good luck TechCrunch reports that the game launched less than a week after the announcement. So of course the game was released in Japan last night.

It expanded into other media, most notably a wildly popular TV animation show and its popularity has never waned. This is a plus for investors as the companies enjoy increased share value in the money market.

Indeed, 27-year-old Tsubasa Kawaguchi, playing the game on his smartphone outside a McDonald's in electronics gadget-haven Akihabara, has grown up with the phenomenon. Today, developer Niantic Labs finally launched the game in Japan with an interesting new marketing deal: McDonald's locations are gyms. In general, race or ethnicity have no effect on who plays video games, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center report.

By lunchtime, with parks and benches still wet after a morning drizzle, dozens of people outside Tokyo station were playing Pokemon Go while eating sandwiches and rice balls. Few details have been released, but consoles are usually a more sustainable revenue driver for gaming companies. Download apps that issue severe weather warnings.

"We wanted to build a game that would inspire people to go outside, get exercise, discover new places and have fun with their friends", Niantic Chief Executive Officer John Hanke said in a video posted with the release.

"Pokemon Go" offered a potential way out of its hole.

Niantic revealed that "Pokemon GO" is "finally broadcasting" in Japan.

  • Joe Gonzales