Nintendo’s shares jump after Super Mario Run iPhone release date announced

Gaming giant hopes to recreate phenomenal success of Pokemon Go, which was downloaded half a billion times

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The Independent Online

Nintendo shares jumped more than five per cent on Wednesday after the gaming giant announced the release date of the much-anticipated Super Mario game for the iPhone.

Investors are hoping the italian plumber’s latest outing will be able to build on the success of Pokemon Go, which became a global phenomenon but did not generate large amounts of revenue for the Kyoto-based firm because the licence was owned by another company, Niantic.

Super Mario Run will be released worldwide in Apple’s App store on 15 December and cost $10 (£8) for the full game, with free access available for some elements. Nintendo did not say when it would make the game available to Android users.

The firm's stock price soared as much as 5.5 per cent before falling back to close up 2.77 per cent at 25,550 yen (£187.13) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The launch of Super Mario Run marks a significant milestone for the 130-year old company, which has previously refused to enter the smartphone gaming market, preferring to focus on its traditional console business.

Last year Nintendo announced it had partnered with Japanese mobile specialist DeNA to develop games for the handsets based on its host of popular characters.

After Pokemon Go caught the public imagination in July Nintendo’s shares more than doubled, making it more valuable than Sony, before falling as over half a billion downloads failed to convert into a big impact on Nintendo’s bottom line.

Nintendo is hoping to fully cash in on the world’s appetite for mobile gaming this time around, to counteract hits it has taken from the fall in the value of the yen and sliding sales of 3DS and Wii games.

Neil Campling, an analyst at Northern Trust Capital Markets, hailed the company's conversion to the strategy of enticing users with a limited free product and selling them extra features as “a great strategy”.

“To set a low incentive and then a low total cost when engaged could set Nintendo on a differentiated path, which ultimately could be a game changer,” Mr Campling said.

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