Last Friday Nintendo traded 476 billion yen ($4.5 billion) in shares, which gives it the honor of being the biggest turnover for any company in the Topix index this century. This is, of course, due to the insane popularity of Pokémon Go, a new gaming app for smart phones that allows gamers to find Pokémon scattered about the world. While it is true that Niantic is the main developer behind the game, Pokémon Company and Game Freaks and Nintendo are all partners and Nintendo owns stakes in those companies. So, it isn’t seeing all of the revenue from the game, but it is set to receive a sizable portion.
This new Pokémon craze is spilling over into other Nintendo merchandise, with sales of handhelds and traditional Pokémon games seeing sales spikes at retailers. Thanks to all of the increases in Nintendo’s stock (which surged 71% last week – its largest gain ever), its market capital has increased from $17 billion in March 2016 to $37 billion as of last week. Will this bubble burst anytime soon? It’s difficult to predict the staying power of Pokémon Go, especially since it has yet to launch in its home country of Japan.