The highly anticipated launch of Pokémon Go in Japan — a big reason for the enormous gains Nintendo has seen in its stock price in the past two weeks — will happen by the end of July, says the game's developing studio. But others are not so sure.
Niantic Labs told Forbes that it hopes to have the global pop culture phenomenon available to Japanese users "soon, if not by the end of July." Server capacity in that region is the issue, John Hanke, the studio's CEO, told Forbes.
But other observers aren't so sure, says Forbes. And looking ahead, Pokémon Go faces headwinds against a launch in China and South Korea, too. The map data necessary to run the game is harder to pull in South Korea because of security concerns in that nation's ongoing military stalemate with North Korea. China posts its own set of regulatory hurdles to the game, even if its map data is more available.
Nintendo's share price shot up by 25 percent in the first week of Pokémon Go's launch and, at the close of the week, was up 50 percent over the stock price on July 5, when Pokémon Go released in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Speculators were said to be betting on a huge launch coming on Pokémon's native soil, bidding up the price. The franchise is owned by The Pokémon Company, of which Nintendo is a 33 percent owner.