The new Pokémon Go sent the shares of Nintendo Co., Ltd (TYO: 7974) soaring on Friday in Tokyo following a successful launching in the United States.
Nintendo’s shares closed ¥16,270 per share, up by 8.94%. In fact the stock gained as much as 10% to ¥16,670 per share in the early trading—its highest level in more than two months. The company’s market value reached ¥2.30 trillion or $23 billion.
Market observers suggest that Pokémon Go strengthened hoped that Nintendo’s move towards mobile gaming will make the company profitable.
For years, the company has been hesitant to develop mobile games featuring its most popular characters such as the Super Mario Bros and Pokémon to protect its console business. Nintendo finally listened to investors’ demand last year when it entered a partnership with DeNA Co. Ltd (TYO: 2432), a mobile game specialist.
Pokémon Go becomes no. 1 free app on Apple’s App Store
Nintendo launched the mobile game in the United States on Google’s Android and Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS operating system on Wednesday.
The mobile game also became available in Australia and New Zealand this week. Nintendo is expected to release Pokémon Go in Japan soon.
Pokémon Go surprised investors as many consumers downloaded the mobile game on their Android and iOS devices. It became the number free app on Apple’s App Store in the United States in just a few days.
Pokemon Company (one-third owned by Nintendo) in partnership with Niantic Labs developed Pokémon Go, which makes players get on their feet and step outside to find and catch wild Pokémon characters. Their smartphones will vibrate when they are near a Pokémon while walking through the real world. The mobile game is free, but it also offers in-app purchases for power-ups and extra time.
Pokémon Go experiencing server issues
Since many people are downloading Pokémon Go, servers are experiencing outages and some are experiencing sign-up difficulties.
In a message posted on Twitter, the Pokémon Go team wrote, “Thank you for your patience. We have been working to fix the server issues. We will continue rolling out #PokemonGO to new countries soon.”
Nintendo has great content
In a note to investors, Macquarie Securities wrote, “It has more (monetization) than we expected; as users build their Pokémon inventory, spending money becomes needed to store, train, hatch and battle.”
On the other hand, a fund manager of a UK asset management firm in Tokyo told Reuters that Nintendo “has huge intangible assets like characters but it hasn’t been trying to use them seriously. But the success of its Pokémon GO shows the company has great content.”