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Pokémon Go launches and crashes in Japan, surprise surprise

Pokemon go screen

After a barnstorming performance around the world, Pokémon Go has finally launched in the lucrative Japanese market, with servers crashing hours later, presumably not surprising many.

The Japanese market is one which has drawn attention from many around the world, mainly due to the financial potential in the country. Japanese consumers are widely recognised by organizations worldwide as one of the biggest in-game spenders for apps and on-line gaming on the whole. A successful launch in Japan could mean the difference between mediocrity and a developers dream come true. Anticipation around the apps launch has also been building as Niantic has now taken Pokémon back to its home country.

Niantic Labs announced this morning on its Twitter account the app was “finally broadcasting” in Japan following a slight delay after McDonalds announced its partnership with the app too early. While this has been the story which a number of press titles have run with, Niantic CEO John Hanke highlighted in an article to Forbes the company had been delaying the launch in Japan due to server capacity issues. After delaying for this long, pushing back another couple of days seemingly hasn’t caused any negative issues for the brand.

Pokemon Go Japan Launch

“At present, the server capacity in Japan is not powerful enough,” said Hanke. “We are working hard with our partners in Japan to enable the servers to keep up with demand once the game goes online there.”

Delaying the launch because of the server capacity issue would make sense, due to the financial potential within the market. While the team were willing to ride the wave of publicity in other countries, also taking app performance criticism at the same time, launching in Japan while server capacity was still an issue could be seen as a risky move. Should users have the same experience as seen in other countries with the game crashing or timing out, this could represent the loss of substantial revenue.

The success of Pokémon Go, which has overtaken the likes of Twitter and Tinder on active user numbers, has doubled the share price of Nintendo, though the impact of the Japan launch will not be known in the immediate future. At the time of writing, according to AppInstitute Pokémon Go over a one minute period, the app was downloaded 4,942 times, 3,361 on iOS and 1,581 times on Android. In the same time period, just over $12,000 was generated in revenue, compared to just over $3000 for the games in second and third place, Slither and Clash of Clans respectively. While these numbers are impressive, it would also be worth noting the time in Japan at the time of writing midnight.

The fact Pokémon Go crashed following the launch in Japan came as little surprise to the team at Telecoms.com considering server performance around the world previously, though the financial impact on Niantic Labs remains to be seen.

Pokemon Go App Performance


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