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Pokémon Go Developers Begin Removal of Controversial PokéStops, Add PokéStops at Toho Cinemas

posted on by Karen Ressler
Game disabled at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Associate Press reported on Tuesday that developer Niantic has disabled Pokémon Go from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Niantic removed the PokéStops and gyms from Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park by Thursday, August 4. Niantic then responded to the city's e-mail request to remove the Pokémon themselves on Saturday, August 6, the anniversary of the atomic bombing. The Pokémon were removed in time for the annual ceremony.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the Holocaust Memorial Museum previously requested guests refrain from playing Pokémon Go at their locations. Several other temples, memorials, and private residents made similar requests, or sent inquiries to the developers requesting removal from the game. A New Jersey resident is suing the developers because his private home has been visited by Pokémon Go players. Niantic has an online form for people to request removal of a PokéStop or gym.

Meanwhile, TOHO CINEMAS announced on Tuesday that it has begun a collaboration with Pokémon Go to add PokéStops to its theaters in Japan.

When the game launched in Japan on July 21, the developers began a partnership with McDonald's Holdings Co. to make McDonald's restaurants in Japan key locations in the game. Various businesses have reported sales due to foot traffic from Pokémon Go, and other businesses have sought a way to be added to the game.

The Pokémon Go app launched in select countries including the United States on July 6, and has since launched in more than 50 countries.

Sources: Associated Press via Polygon, Pia Eiga Seikatsu via Otakomu

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