Nintendo shares have continued to surge in the wake of the release of Pokemon GO, the unprecedentedly-popular Augmented Reality (AR) game for smartphones that recently released in the United States.
Now, the AFP is reporting that shares in Nintendo have surged by 19 percent since Pokemon GO‘s release on Wednesday earlier this week — and as some people are already pointing out, this may have been Nintendo’s plan all along.
In point of fact, according to the latest data available from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, it may already have climbed again to a 23 percent gain.
The release was expected to be big, but the results were truly unprecedented as Pokemon GO rapidly became both the No. 1 free app in Apple’s U.S. iTunes Store, but also the top grossing app, which, as Reuters reports, even took financial services group Macquarie Securities by surprise.
“It has more (monetisation) than we expected; as users build their Pokémon inventory, spending money becomes needed to store, train, hatch and battle.”
Perhaps not a statement we ever expected to hear from a major financial securities group, but certainly a revealing one, and as of Friday, Nintendo’s stock had already climbed 9 percent.
Nintendo steadfastly resisted getting into smartphone gaming for a very long time, focusing on their (admittedly massively-successful) Nintendo DS console. Which wasn’t a bad strategy, considering that when all iterations of the Nintendo DS console are taken into consideration, it’s the best-selling game console of all time; between the original Nintendo DS and the Nintendo 3DS, it’s sold over 200 million units.
But that having been said, it’s estimated that over 2 billion of the world’s 7 billion people are now smartphone users, and Nintendo finally, according to the Financial Post, caved, acquiescing to investor demands last year to enter the mobile market and announcing a partnership with mobile specialist DeNA Co.
Nintendo’s first mobile title, Miitomo, launched in March of this year after some delay — and turned out to be a social networking-style product, leaving investors disappointed; much like Pokemon GO, Miitomo rose quickly to No. 1 in the free app download rankings, but was not readily monetizable, leaving investors ready to be disappointed again by Pokemon GO.
Their expectations of disappointment were, to put it mildly, not met, and Nintendo’s stock continues to soar as a result.
In fact, the current stock price marks the highest Nintendo’s stock has been in over half a year, after years of poor sales of the Wii U console. Nintendo found themselves badly eclipsed by Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, and the video gaming titan might have found themselves brought low if not for the continued success of the Nintendo DS.
But it’s a new era, and the stock charts tell the story; in only a few days since the release of their first truly successful mobile title, Nintendo’s stock has climbed from roughly ¥16,000 to almost ¥20,000 — almost exactly $16 USD and $20 USD, respectively.
That’s a really significant gain, and it highlights not only why Nintendo’s investors were desperate for the company to break into mobile, but that, after the success of Pokemon GO, every company is going to be desperate to break into mobile; it’s estimated that by 2019, there will be over 2.5 billion mobile users in the world.
If you’re keeping track at home, that’s more than four times the number of video game consoles ever sold. All video game consoles. Ever. And every company out there wants a slice of that pie — especially in an age of increasing development costs and flagging AAA title sales.
[Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images]