If you’ve paid attention to social media at all in the past couple of days, you probably noticed some of your friends posting about their experiences with Pokémon Go, the new mobile title from San Francisco-based gaming company Ninantic. The augmented reality game, in which users walk around the real world to discover and catch Pokémon characters with their phones, topped both the “Top Grossing” and “Free” categories in the American App Store within 24 hours of its release. Due to the wild popularity of the game, gaming giant Nintendo, who is partnered with and invested in Ninantic, saw its stock soar since the game’s release on July 6.
The Japanese company’s stock climbed 25% on Monday, bringing market-value gains to over $8 billion in just a matter of days, almost entirely due to the success of the new title. A huge hit among several age groups and demographics, Pokémon Go uses the phone’s camera and gyroscope to display different Pokémon throughout their neighborhoods or locales. When a user encounters a Pokémon, they must “throw” a Pokeball with the right amount of force to “catch” the Pokémon. In-game rewards and in-app purchases allow users to “level up” with their Pokémon, and users can find “Pokestops” and “Pokémon Gyms”, usually located at popular meeting places, to battle other characters.
Hopefully for Nintendo, the wild success of Pokémon Go may be a look at the success to come from the company since they began diving into the mobile gaming market. Long known as resistant to the mobile market, Nintendo finally released their first mobile effort last October. Their first title, the social media-like Miitomo enjoyed a fair amount of success upon its release, but has since stagnated. However, the company is looking to release two more mobile titles based on the popular Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing series this fall, hopefully keeping the momentum going that they’ve built with Pokémon Go.
Analysts still have questions about the future of the Japanese company, unsure if the success generated from Pokémon Go is fleeting, or indicative of Nintendo’s future ventures into the mobile gaming market. The company has struggled a bit in recent years, as revenue from the gaming market has begun to shift from traditional consoles to the mobile market. It is yet to be seen if Nintendo’s recent embrace of the mobile market will keep the company on top of the gaming world, but they’re certainly off to a good start.
What do you love most about Pokémon Go? Let us know in the comments!