In recent weeks, the phenomenal success of Pokémon Go has helped Nintendo’s stocks more than double—which is odd because Nintendo doesn’t actually own Pokémon Go. The Guardian reports that investors have been snatching up Nintendo stocks since the popular app was released, apparently under the assumption that the game was a Nintendo creation. Last Friday, Nintendo sent out a press release [PDF], gently reminding its investors it doesn't actually own the game. On Monday when the Tokyo stock exchange opened, investors immediately began jumping ship, causing Nintendo stocks to drop a full 17 percent.
While Nintendo released the original Pokémon game for Gameboy and owns part of The Pokemon Company, which licenses Pokémon creations, it didn’t actually create or distribute Pokémon Go; a company called Niantic Labs did. While anyone who has played Pokémon Go since its release has repeatedly seen the Niantic logo emblazoned on the game’s start screen, investors either haven’t been playing the game or didn’t realize just how small Nintendo’s financial stake was.
CNET explains that Nintendo owns 32 percent of The Pokemon Company which is licensing the use of Pokémon to Niantic Labs. Niantic, however, is the primary owner and creator of the game. Nintendo does own shares in Pokémon Go, but expects its profits from the game to be modest. While Nintendo has been consistently upfront about its financial stake—or lack thereof—in Pokémon Go, it seems it took an official press release on the subject to make investors take notice.
It’s unclear what kind of impact Pokémon Go will have on Nintendo in the long run, however. As The Guardian notes, Nintendo will soon make more direct income from Pokémon Go Plus, a new smart wearable that will allow Pokémon Go fans to play the game without their phones.
[h/t The Guardian]
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