As Pokémon fans wait for the launch of Pokémon Go in Japan, McDonald’s has swooped in to fill the void by offering Pokémon figurines in its Happy Meals.
Since Friday, when the Pokémon figurines were first offered, McDonald’s Japan saw its shares jump as much as 23 percent, Bloomberg reported.
And it doesn’t stop there. TechCrunch detailed that McDonald’s Japan has agreed to become the first paying game sponsor, which will transform all 3,000 locations in Japan into Pokémon gyms. All of the McDonald’s Japan locations will be hotspots for players and will potentially drive real-world traffic to the restaurants.
The launch of Pokémon Go in Japan, which was scheduled for yesterday, was postponed, the main reason being that an internal communication from McDonald’s Japan detailing the launch was leaked and went viral. A source said the companies behind the game were worried that the hype generated would overload the game; the launch is “imminent,” but an exact date is unspecified.
Check out our story on how other restaurants are using the game to attract customers.