Aside from Investors, Who Else Can Cash In on Pokemon Go Craze?

Almost overnight, "Pokemon Go" has become the nation's bestselling mobile game, lifting the outlooks for Nintendo and the small San Francisco gaming start-up that licensed the animated franchise. But it's also inspired a marketing frenzy, with Uber drivers, event organizers and other entrepreneurs seeking to capitalize on the game's success.

And mobile gaming experts see possibilities for stretching the initial bonanza.

The game is generating an estimated $1.6 million in revenue a day as players try to speed up their quest of wandering the world to amass animated characters. For example, $1 buys 20 Poke Balls -- virtual storage containers for the characters -- and saves the player the hassle of walking around to collect them for free.

It took 14 hours, or four times faster than any app before it, for "Pokemon Go" to top the revenue charts, according to app tracking firm Sensor Tower. The pace has excited investors, who have pushed up the price of Nintendo shares more than 50% in the last week. Nintendo collects about 10% of the app's revenue, according to analyst estimates. But it also owns about a third of Pokemon Co., which grabs an estimated 30% of sales.

Analysts attribute the newfound interest to more than "Pokemon Go" sales. For years, Nintendo had shied away from smartphone games, preferring to keep marquee franchises such as "Mario" and "Pokemon" on its own hardware such as the Game Boy and Wii. But it vowed to loosen up last year. Following through brought the sharpest rise in Nintendo shares since the Wii debuted almost a decade ago.

"It's a boom for a company that was initially quite reluctant," said Andrew Alvarez, an industry analyst at researcher IBIS World.

And this could be only the beginning for the gaming giant. Besides "Mario," the company also holds the rights to popular franchises such...

Comments are closed.