Pokemon-mania vindicates Nintendo’s mobile game shift

TOKYO (AFP) – With Pokemon-mania sweeping the planet, Nintendo’s nascent shift into mobile gaming has proved a huge hit, vindicating the Japanese videogame giant’s choice to unshackle itself from a longstanding games consoles-only policy.

Since its launch smartphone game Pokemon Go topping the standings at official online shops and has been winning legions of supporters all over the world, downloaded millions of times.

Pokemon franchise creator Nintendo is reaping the benefits as its Tokyo, although the game has been released in Japan yet -listed shares skyrocket in response to the program’s sizzling introduction.

The stock was up almost 60 percent in only four sessions as of Tuesday.

That eyepopping rally underscored how investors find the game as critical to its fledgling migration on to cellular apparatus and has increased Nintendo’s market value by billions of dollars.

The program that was free was accommodated to the cellular web age by US-based Niantic Labs, a company spun out of Google

“Investors have huge expectations that Pokemon Go will start a fresh phase in Nintendo’s future increase,” said Takashi Oba, a senior strategist at Okasan Securities in Tokyo.

In March, the Kyoto-based creator of Super Mario and Donkey Kong released its first mobile game “Miitomo” — a free-to-play and interactive game that enables users to create avatars — as it strives to compete in an industry that’s increasingly went online.

That followed the business’s statement that it was teaming up with Japanese cellular telephone specialist DeNA to develop games for smartphones based on its host of characters that were popular.

“Marketplaces are presuming that since Pokemon Go is a big hit, Nintendo’s first smartphone games will even sell,” said SMBC Nikko Securities analyst Eiji Maeda.

Smartphone future

The cellular telephone strategy marked an U turn for an organization that had resisted the move for years, insisting that games for tablet computers and smartphones risked damaging the worth of its games and hollowing out its core company.

But its balance sheet suffered and Nintendo’s Wii U games console did not fit the popularity of the first, compelling a rethink.

“Sales have been slowing, Nintendo was long focused on console games and hasn’t seen a big hit since the Wii set,” Oba said.

A leading figure in the videogame industry who died of cancer at the age of 55, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, was a business backer of the games consoles-only perspective.

Iwata had managed a surge in sales before smartphone games began eating away at the business’s success and the success of Nintendo’s Wii.

But months before he passed away, Iwata openly admitted that games consoles alone weren’t the future.

“The world is changing, so any business which is not making do with the change will fall into decline,” he said at the time.

The move was seen also seen as essential for Nintendo to offer up hard competition to games console-manufacturer competitors Microsoft and Sony.

One of Nintendo’s largest successes over the years has been Pokemon, which spawned two decades of branded products and games.

Pokemon Go uses camera abilities and smartphone satellite place, images to overlay animation monsters on real world settings, challenging players train and to catch the creatures for conflicts.

But despite the tremendous success of the game, Nintendo’s share upsurge was overdone as it’ll have a limited impact on the business’s bottom line, said Nomura Securities analyst Junko Yamamura.

“Pokemon Go was largely developed by Niantic,” Yamamura said in a comments.

“The recent share price rally so appears excessive based on gains from Pokemon Go alone.

“(But the game) may have consequences for following names and for the mobile games sector as a whole.”