Pokemania is back?
The long awaited AR Pokemon MMO for smartphones, Pokemon GO is now finally out- and it has done just about as well as anyone might have expected. In fact, judging by the server strain the game seems to be experiencing, it seems to have surpassed even the most optimistic of predictions.
Shortly after launch, Pokemon GO is now topping charts on both, iOS and Android. On iOS, Pokemon GO is now the most downloaded free app on the platform- it is also the highest grossing app on the platform at the moment, well over even mobile game heavyweights such as Clash of Clans, Game of War, and Candy Crush.
Social media is ablaze with Pokemon, as, for the first time in 20 years, Pokemania appears to be back in full flow as a result of the mobile game. The end result of all of this momentum around Pokemon GO appears to be that Nintendo’s stock price is now at the highest it has been in months, jumping up by more than 10%, and leaving Nintendo with a high market valuation of $23 billion.
The amusing thing here is that Pokemon GO is categorically not a Nintendo game- the game was developed by Niantic, which is a spin off company from Google, but is a company that Nintendo invested into. Pokemon GO is itself a joint venture between The Pokemon Company, Google, Nintendo, and Niantic. Pokemon the brand itself is owned only partly by Nintendo- ownership is split jointly between Nintendo, Creatures, and Game Freak (though Nintendo own majority or minority stakes in Game Freak and Creatures, so in a long convoluted way, Nintendo has the highest stakes in Pokemon).
With all that said, Pokemon GO is a clear indication that Nintendo’s brands have a market on smartphone devices- which bodes well for Nintendo ahead of the impending launches of Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing this Fall for iOS and Android.