It was only thing on Japanese gamers' minds early Wednesday. But right when excitement was at a fever pitch, Nintendo hit pause on the role out of Pokemon Go. There were reports that the app's launch in Japan was due Wednesday. But according to website TechCrunch, developers cancelled the release after emails leaked from the game's first serious sponsor, McDonald's Japan.
The news is a big blow for fans in Pokemon's homeland who have been waiting for weeks to play the game. It's also setback for the 3,000 McDonald's outlets lined up to be battle arenas known as Pokemon gyms. The deal with McDonald's is more than just a tie up, it's a serious test of the app's ad dollar potential, driving real world foot traffic to the golden arches in search of virtual monsters.
Wednesday marks another delay for Pokemon Go in the brand's birthplace. The Japan release initially got pushed back when the developers became worried that their servers couldn't take their massive spike in traffic on top of heavy strain from the US and Europe. No word yet on a new release date.
But Japan newswire Nikkei says it could come as soon as Thursday.