Pokemon-Go Debuts in Italy and Hongkong as Nintendo Shares Plunge

Nintendo shares took a beating on Monday after the company released a statement saying Pokémon Go would have limited impact on its quarterly earnings since it only owns 32 percent of the Pokémon Company, which has the licensing rights to the game.

The announcement by Nintendo appeared to take investors by surprise and had an immediate impact on its share price, with stock dropping 17 percent at one point, wiping around $6.4 billion off their value – their biggest decline since October 1990.

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The news poured cold water on hopes of a stunning revival for the Kyoto-based game company, which said its earnings outlook would not be revised. Nintendo is due to reveal its Q1 report later this week.

Some observers remained optimistic however, noting that shares were still up some 60 percent compared with levels prior to the game’s July 6 launch, adding nearly $12 billion in market value. They argued upward revisions of the company’s profit targets so early after the game’s release were beyond reasonable expectations.

“The market has overreacted to the Nintendo statement,” said David Gibson, a senior analyst at Macquarie Securities Group who spoke to Reuters. Gibson noted the game in Japan had broken records with 10 million downloads in one day.

“I believe that Pokémon Go will be material in the company’s earnings given the current trends for the game.”

Global rollout of the game continued over the weekend, with Pokémon Go launching in App Stores in France and Hong Kong – the first Asian location outside Japan to gain access to the wildly successful title by U.S.-based developers Niantic.

CEO of Niantic John Hanke took to the stage at Comic-Con, where he revealed the new features coming to the game in the coming years, including new pokémon and a trading feature that will allow players to trade captured characters.

Niantic also revealed team leaders for Team Mystic, Team Valor, and Team Instinct, with each trainer set to communicate with players within the game world and offer them advice. Hanke promised fans the leaders would be making their way to the game soon.

Tag: Pokémon GO

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