It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Pokemon Go had sent Nintendo’s market value soaring by about $7.5 billion two days after its release. A week had passed and that number had grown to $17 billion. Now, Nintendo’s market capitalization is at $42.5 billion. That means that the company has hit its highest point since 2010 and has become more valuable than Sony ($38.38 billion). And the surprising part is that Nintendo didn’t even build the game, Niantic Labs Inc. did. In fact, before Pokemon Go came out, Nintendo was actively resisting entering the fray of Mobile Gaming. Now the shareholders are singing a different tune.
Nintendo’s plans for Mobile Gaming looked like they were going to be hit and miss. While their stock experienced a rise in March when they announced that they were finally giving in to the trend of Mobile Gaming, it plunged when they introduced Mitomo, a social networking app. That’s clearly what people weren’t expecting from the company that fueled their imaginations in infancy.
When Niantic Labs, an offshoot from Google that centered on building complimentary apps to Google Maps, made the brilliant decision to make Pokemon Go, that sent the public in to a frenzy. People signed up by the millions. Servers crashed, people got hurt because they were so immersed in the game they forgot about reality. People reported that they got over depression and social anxiety and began interacting more with people because of the game. People started frequenting hospitals, memorial museums and graveyards because they spotted Pokemon there. The reception was insane.
Pokemon Go is now in 35 countries, mostly in Europe and most recently in Canada. It has broken the record for the largest single day trade in the 21st century with $4.5 billion worth of stock being bought and sold. Small businesses like bakeries and even big fast food joints like McDonald’s are getting more visitors because they’ve started selling Pokeball cookies and Pokemon themed Happy Meals or just because they’re hiding places for Squirtles and Bulbasaurs. Even bars and pubs are selling “Pokemongoritas”. And this’ll surprise you most of all, Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign is using Pokestops to register people to vote.
Pokemon Go has beaten Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter in terms of daily active users and has left behind Candy Crush Saga in terms of total users at one time. The app has somewhere between 5 and 25 million users in the US alone and there seems to be no stopping it. And what all this translates in to is this: Nintendo has entered the arena. What the company had been resisting for years has been served to it on a silver platter. Game changing opportunities (pun fully intended) are clawing at their door and giving them a second chance in an industry that is so unforgiving that it tore the likes of Nokia and Kodak down. Your favourite childhood characters, Zelda, Mario and Donkey Kong might be coming to the screen in your pocket soon. So go out and catch some Pokemon, what are you waiting for?