The future of Nintendo has been bolstered after the Japanese gaming company’s shares rose 56 per cent in less than a week thanks to app Pokemon Go.
The augmented reality game, which allows users to catch the cute cult creatures in ‘real life’ – on their smartphone screens – only launched last Friday in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
Such was its popularity, the servers crashed under the weight of users – leading to the postponement of an official release in the UK.
Germany has just become the first European territory to launch Pokemon Go.
Nintendo partnered with US-based developer Niantic and the Pokemon Company, which owns the rights to the characters, for the game.
Shares jumped 25% on Monday and have climbed steadily since.
Pokemon has become the most popular Nintendo franchise of all time since launching on the original Game Boy in the 1990s – which is saying something, given that Super Mario and Zelda are part of its back catalogue.
Nintendo enjoyed phenomenal success in the US and Japan with the original Nintendo Entertainment System in the 80s and went head-to-head with Sega in the ‘console wars’ of the 90s.
After Sega dropped out of console development due to a lack of marketing power following the release of the Dreamcast and Nintendo struggled with the GameCube, the phenomenally successful Wii was credited with securing the latter’s future.
The popularity of the DS handheld console preserved its place in the video games market alongside the tech titans of Microsoft and Sony, but Nintendo’s Wii U console has struggled to compete with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
However it seems that Pokemon may be the killer app needed to keep Nintendo – long credited as the most creative games maker on the planet – relevant in modern gaming as it plans its next-generation console.