Pokemon Go Finally Breaks Free In Its Home Country Of Japan

Fictional creatures with mystical super powers are roaming the streets of Tokyo! No, we're not talking about another Godzilla movie, but the inevitable infiltration of Pokemon Go into Japan, the newest territory to be swept up in the most popular mobile game of all time. Heck, Pokemon Go might be the most popular mobile app of any kind at this point.

Whatever the case might be, Pokemon Go is finally available in its home territory where it's finding an eager audience. Why the wait? Niantic explains that the reception to Pokemon Go in the United States, New Zealand, and  Australia was much greater than it anticipated, so it wanted to take some time before rolling it out in Japan.

Pokemon Go

Indeed, Pokemon Go has been such a big success that it's presumably suffering from server overload, especially during peak hours. We can only presume because both Niantic and Nintendo have done a poor job communicating the status of Pokemon Go's issues, both in terms of the inability for users to log in during evening hours and certain times on the weekend, and what kind of bugs are being stomped out. Case in point, there was a major outage earlier this week that coincided with a patch (version 1.0.3) that only mentioned "minor text fixes."

It's also possible that some of Pokemon Go's server issues are tied to DDoS attacks. A hacking group called Poodle Corp claimed responsibility for overwhelming Pokemon Go's servers early on and stated on Twitter that it's planning another service disruption for August 1. Like everything else, Niantic and Nintendo have been silent on the matter.

In any event, Pokemon Go is now available in Japan and it's enjoying its first official sponsorship. In preparation for the launch, McDonald's began bundling Pokemon toys with its Happy Meals. According to Engadget, the sponsorship deal also includes adding Pokestops (places you can pick up items for free, like more Poke balls) and Gyms (battle other trainers) to nearly all of the chain's 3,600 restaurants.

It will be interesting to see how this launch and continued craze further affects Nintendo's stock price. As of this past Tuesday, Nintendo's market capitalization had more than doubled to 4.5 trillion yen ($42.5 billion) since Pokemon Go launched on July 6.