McDonald’s was one of the first sponsored locations for Pokémon Go in Japan when the app launched in 2016 with the fast food restaurants becoming either a PokéStop or Gym for the mobile game. But after four years, the collaboration will end tomorrow, Oct. 16, McDonald’s Japan announced.
Japanese trainers won’t be able to get a gold badge from McDonald’s Gyms after tomorrow because on Saturday, Oct. 17, all PokéStop and Gyms located in McDonald’s across the country will be deleted.
There are around 2,500 McDonald’s restaurants as PokéStops in Japan and another 400 were Gyms. The collaboration was a success with store sales increasing up to 27 percent back in 2016, according to Nikkei.
The deal also benefited Niantic since Pokémon Go sponsors pay up to $0.50 for each visitor attracted by the game, according to TechCrunch. In Japan, at the game’s peak in 2016, each McDonald’s store reportedly attracted 2,000 visitors a day.
McDonald’s and Niantic didn’t provide any reasons for the termination of the collaboration. But with the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns in Japan, the deal might not benefit McDonald’s anymore. Players can still battle Raids with Remote Raid Passes without having to buy a Happy Meal.