Nintendo Shares Soar On Success Of Augmented Reality Pokemon Game

Nintendo is worth $9 billion more today than it was on Thursday on the eyepopping success of Pokemon Go, an augmented reality version of the game introduced in 1995.

Nintendo shares appreciated 24.5% on the Tokyo exchange today, and are up more than 30% including Friday, following the release of the free-to-play app in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.  It’s the most-downloaded app at Apple’s iTunes.

Pokemon Go enables mobile users to look for and catch the game’s characters in real life local settings. Users pay small amounts for game addons.

A woman in rural Wyoming found the body of a dead man in a river while looking for Pokemon characters, USA Today reports.

Nintendo owns a third of the Pokemon Company, which owns the character rights, and has a stake in Niantic, a company that Google spun off last year that developed the new game.

Nintendo shares had been struggling prior to the new release; the price had fallen 24.3% in the 12 months up to Thursday. Its first mobile game, Miitomo, which was released in March, was seen as a disappointment. Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter said in April that “it is far from assured that its next games will prove to be popular or promising monetizers.”

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