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Nintendo Stock Surges Amidst Popularity of Pokémon Go

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Linsay ThomasGuest Blogger
July 12, 2016 · 1.8k Views

Currently the top-grossing app in the Apple Store, Pokémon Go is taking America by storm. The free app, which was just launched July 6, has already increased Nintendo’s value by a whopping $11 billion. In just five days, Nintendo’s value jumped from $17 billion to $28 billion. The video game company has seen its stock surge, much to the delight of investors. On July 11 alone, the Tokyo Stock Exchange saw the stock rise by nearly 25% by the close of the day.

While these numbers are very impressive, Nintendo still has a long way to go to get to where it was nine years ago. In October 2007, Nintendo’s value surged as a result of the release of the Wii gaming system. The company was valued at just under $80 billion, and stocks were worth $625 per share.


What is Pokémon Go?

Source: News Locker

You’re likely familiar with the Pokémon game from the late ‘90s. The new Pokémon Go app builds upon that by creating augmented reality – a combination of a virtual world mixed in with reality. By using your phone’s clock and GPS, the game makes Pokémon appear around you. Built upon the original game’s theme of “Gotta catch ‘em all,” the game encourages you to move around and find and catch different types of Pokémon. The app itself is free but with in-app purchases such as power-ups, you can make it easier to catch Pokémon.

Why the Hype?

Source: The Verge

Pokémon Go users are wildly ecstatic about the game, which was jointly developed by the Pokémon Company and Niantic. They’re using the game at work, while riding in the car and even while they’re in the bathroom. Why are people interrupting their daily lives to play this game from a franchise that started 20 years ago more than 20 years in Japan? Beside that fact that the game is free and easy to play, here are some theories behind the surge in popularity:

  • It’s a dream come true for Pokémon fans: The original game had 151 creatures, including snakes, dragons, rats, birds, dinosaurs and even inanimate objects such as swords, trees and eggs. The goal was to catch all these monsters and use them to fight each other. The games and TV shows featured a character named Ash Ketchum, who was the trainer on a quest to catch all the creatures. The fantasy for most die-hard fans was to be like Ash and get to live in that type of world. With Pokémon Go, this dream is now a reality.  The app simulates virtual reality, allowing you to catch creatures. Plus, having the opportunity to experience Pokémon again after all these years is nostalgic for fans of the original game.
  • Gameplay is different: There are some things from the original game that have stayed the same, such as the ability to catch Pokémon and fight trainers and gym leaders. But there are some things that are different, such as the environment and gameplay. You’re now using your mobile device instead of a controller. In the original games, you played inside a world created by the game developer. This time around, you’re creating your own world. You’re only limited by yourself. The further you expand your travels, the more Pokémon you’ll find. Your surroundings – such as park or lake – and the time of day – such as nighttime – determine the type of creatures you’ll find.
  • Changes in combat: When catching Pokémon now, you swipe to throw a Poké Ball at them. You don’t really fight with them like you did in the past. The battles are now between you and gym leaders and trainers. There isn’t a lot of strategy with Pokémon Go. Battles are determined by your Pokémon’s power. You simply tap the screen to attack opponents. This may be a drawback if the battle elements were what initially drew you to the game.

How Long Will the Craze – and Rising Stock – Last?

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Pokémon Go is currently dominating the charts in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. While the game is doing better than expected, the craze won’t last forever. Fans of the 1990s game may be enamored with the app now, but mobile users tend to have short attention spans. New games are constantly flooding the app stores. In just a few months, mobile users will be looking elsewhere for their next gaming fix. Without a spectacular follow-up app, Nintendo sales and stock will likely plummet back to where it was last month. That’s what happened to the company called King, which created the wildly popular app Candy Crush Saga.

Nintendo has more games in the works. By March 2017, the company plans to release four more games for mobile devices as well as a new gaming console.

As video game fanatics are moving away from gaming systems that are wired into a TV and moving toward cheaper mobile apps, Nintendo will need to make this transition as well if it wants to keep the momentum going. It’s going to take more than just a one-hit wonder.


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Linsay Thomas is a seasoned writer and editor who has written thousands of articles about topics such as saving money, healthcare, law, pets and education. She hails from California, where she lives with her husband, two children and a menagerie of pets. When she's not writing, she enjoys sports, breeding chocolate Labs and visiting the beach.

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