McDonald's says it's working on Pokemon Go's debut in Japan

Pokemon's official Japanese site announcing the latest information for Pokémon Go.
Pokemon's official Japanese site announcing the latest information for Pokémon Go.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (Bloomberg) - McDonald's Japanese business said it's working with the developers of Pokemon Go as they bring the hit Nintendo game to the country.

McDonald's Holdings Co., the fast-food giant's affiliate in Japan, expects to start collaborating with Pokemon Go soon, according to a statement responding to news reports. Developers are working intensely on the Japanese version of the game so that it runs smoothly, the company said.

Pokemon Go, which spurs players to venture into the real world and "catch" creatures on their phones, has sparked a worldwide frenzy. But it still is not available in Japan, where the original Pokemon cartoon series was first created.

The game is seen as a boon for retailers and restaurants because they can use it to attract customers to brick-and-mortar establishments. Shares of McDonald's Japan are up 16 per cent this week, lifted by speculation that the chain would be involved in the release of Pokemon.

Already, McDonald's Japan has been featuring figurines based on Pokemon characters such as Pikachu in its Happy Meals.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on McDonald's collaboration with Pokemon Go, saying its restaurants in Japan would serve as key locations for players.