Nin­tendo shares jump on Su­per Mario app

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

TOKYO: Shares in gam­ing gi­ant Nin­tendo jumped more than five per­cent yes­ter­day after de­tails of the launch for its keenly awaited new Su­per Mario game for Iphones were re­leased, hot on the heels of the Poke­mon craze. Ky­oto-based Nin­tendo said it would re­lease Su­per Mario Run world­wide for Ap­ple’s iPhone and iPad through the App Store on De­cem­ber 15. The firm’s stock price soared as much as 5.5 per­cent at one point be­fore eas­ing slightly to close up 2.77 per­cent at 25,550 yen on the Tokyo Stock Ex­change. Su­per Mario, which dates to 1985, is one of Nin­tendo’s best-known and most in­stantly recog­nis­able brands.

It is so as­so­ci­ated with Ja­pan that Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe in Au­gust ap­peared at the Rio Olympics’ clos­ing cer­e­mony in the mus­ta­chioed plumber’s red hat and blue over­alls to pro­mote Tokyo’s 2020 Games. The full app would cost $9.99 in the United States and 1,200 yen ($10.95) in Ja­pan, al­though lim­ited el­e­ments of the game would be avail­able for free. Nin­tendo’s shares more than dou­bled in July-mak­ing it more valu­able than Sony at one point-as its Poke­mon Go game exploded into the public con­scious­ness, be­ing down­loaded half a bil­lion times. How­ever, be­cause the firm did not own the li­cence to the game-that is owned by San Francisco-based Niantic-its suc­cess had lit­tle im­pact on the firm’s bot­tom line. But while its share price has dipped back slightly over the past few months, it is still up two-thirds from lows seen be­fore the emer­gence of Poke­mon Go.

Neil Cam­pling, an an­a­lyst at North­ern Trust Cap­i­tal Mar­kets, hailed the com­pany’s ap­proach of en­tic­ing gamers in the same way as other mo­bile game suc­cesses as “a great strat­egy”. “To set a low in­cen­tive and then a low to­tal cost when en­gaged could set Nin­tendo on a dif­fer­en­ti­ated path, which ul­ti­mately could be a game changer,” Cam­pling said. The game will be in­tro­duced for An­droid­based de­vices at a later date. So­cial me­dia re­ac­tion in Ja­pan to the game’s price was pos­i­tive. “Once you pay 1,200 yen, you don’t have to pay ex­tra money,” one fan said on Twit­ter. “That’s cheap. Can’t wait.” Nin­tendo has al­ready said that any po­ten­tial earn­ings im­pact from Su­per Mario Run has al­ready been fac­tored into its fore­cast for the present fis­cal year. Nin­tendo warned last month that its op­er­at­ing profit would come in at 30 bil­lion yen for the fi­nan­cial year, about one-third less than an ear­lier fore­cast, while sales would also be lower than ex­pected. After years of re­fus­ing to move into the smart­phone sec­tor, Nin­tendo-which also cre­ated the Don­key Kong and Leg­end of Zelda brands-an­nounced last year it was team­ing up with Ja­panese mo­bile spe­cial­ist DeNA to develop games for the hand­sets based on its host of pop­u­lar char­ac­ters.

And in March, the com­pany re­leased its first mo­bile game “Mi­it­omo” -a free-to-play and in­ter­ac­tive game that al­lows users to cre­ate avatars-as it tries to com­pete in an in­dus­try that has in­creas­ingly moved on­line. How­ever, it re­mains com­mit­ted to its con­sole busi­ness and last Thurs­day launched a palm-sized ver­sion of its 1980s-era games con­sole the Fam­i­com, while it also plans to un­veil an­other de­vice early next year.

TOKYO: The logo of Ja­panese gam­ing gi­ant Nin­tendo and its game char­ac­ter Su­per Mario is be­ing dis­played at a show­room in Tokyo. —AFP

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