Skip to main content

McDonald’s Japan captures its first profit in two years thanks to ‘Pokémon Go’

pokemon go mcdonalds japan profit snorlaxmcd
Wikimedia
McDonald’s might be one of the world’s most popular eateries, but it’s been struggling in Japan for close to two years now, posting losses every quarter since 2014. Now, thanks to the hit augmented reality app Pokémon Go, it’s managed to turn a profit, with sales spiking 19 percent during the quarter when the app was launched.

The partnership between McDonald’s Japan and Pokémon Go was announced a few weeks ago, before the game was available in Japan. Some 3,000 McDonald’s across the country became hot spots of Pokémon Go activity after being turned into Pokémon Gyms and Pokéstops. This, combined with a more traditional partnership in the form of Pokémon Happy Meal toys, spurred the rise of McDonald’s Japan’s fortunes.

Net income for the quarter ended in June was 390 million yen, or just shy of $3 million U.S. This was huge news for McDonald’s, and the fact that it was at least partly due to a Pokémon Go partnership should mean that we’ll see a lot of similar deals sprouting up all over the world.

Related: Want to master ‘Pokémon Go’? Here’s every tip you need to know

Not that Niantic needs to strike such deals, of course. Pokémon Go has already raked in over $200 million for the developer.

Although questions still remain about the longevity of Pokemon Go, and whether a long-term collaboration will continue to drive a McDonald’s resurgence in Japan, confidence is high and share prices responded in kind, rising by 4.1 percent at the close of Tokyo trading earlier this week.

Executives at the company are keen to downplay any major potential , however, and have kept the estimates for annual net income at a billion yen ($10 million).

Not everyone is entirely convinced that this partnership will stand the test of time. Adage quotes a New York based analyst, Peter Saleh, who claims that this sort of deal will be very short term, as it hasn’t changed much about the business in a fundamental way.

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
McDonald’s plans to serve up artificial intelligence at its drive-thru windows
mcdonalds mobile order payment roll out mcdonald s

McDonald’s is exploring ways to automate its drive-thru service with the help of artificial intelligence.

This means you could soon be chatting with a robot rather than a human when you pull up to place your order.

Read more
Pokémon Masters is no Pokémon Go, but it’s good enough for $26M in first week
pokemon masters 25 million revenue first week

Pokémon Masters, the latest mobile game in the franchise by The Pokémon Company and DeNA, hit the ground running on its first week, but still not enough to match the overwhelming popularity of Pokémon Go.

According to estimates by Sensor Tower, the free-to-play Pokémon Masters earned about $26 million in its first week after launching in more than 60 countries, which is good enough for the second-best mobile launch for a Pokémon game. The title surpassed Pokémon Quest, Pokémon Magikarp Jump, and Pokémon Rumble Rush, which had first-week revenues of only $3 million, $1 million, and $300,000, respectively.

Read more
Helldivers 2 isn’t on Xbox, but these Game Pass titles can help fill the void
A soldier in silhouette in Helldivers 2.

Helldivers 2 is a PlayStation console exclusive, so it's not available on Xbox Series X or S. Not only has Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer voiced his disappointment in this, but so have many Helldivers 2 players, who are asking for more backup in the fight against the Terminids and Automatons.

If you don't own a PS5 or a good enough gaming PC to run Helldivers 2, you might be feeling a bit left out. But if you're in the mood for a sci-fi or co-op game, there are plenty of entertaining alternate options available on Xbox Game Pass. While Xbox players can't yet die for Super Earth, they can still have a great time fighting and dying in any of these Xbox Game Pass games that are playable on console.
Deep Rock Galactic

Read more