Super Mario app for iPhones gets a release date, Nintendo shares jump

Agence France-Presse
The game is a timed exclusive and will find its way to Android devices at a later date

SUPER MARIO. The iconic character gives Nintendo a boost. Screengrab from official Super Mario Run website

TOKYO, Japan  – Nintendo shares surged more than 5% on Wednesday, Nov 16, after the game giant said it would release a Super Mario app for iPhones next month.

The stock price rose as much as 5.5% to 26,215 yen before closing the morning session on the Tokyo Stock Exchange up 4.38% at 25,950 yen.

Shares in Nintendo, creator of the Pokemon franchise, have been on a tear since the July release of Pokemon Go – making the company more valuable than Sony at one stage. (Read: Pokémon GO is now available in the Philippines)

The stock has gained more than 50% this year on the phenomenal success of the mobile app for iOS and Android developed by San Francisco-based Niantic.

Kyoto-based Nintendo said it would release Super Mario Run worldwide for Apple’s iPhone and iPad onDecember 15.

Customers can download it from the App Store for free to try some limited elements of the game.

An optional one-time payment, which will be $9.99 in the United States, grants unlimited access, the company said.

Neil Campling, an analyst at Northern Trust Capital Markets, hailed the company’s approach of enticing gamers in the same way as other mobile game successes 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,” Campling said.

Super Mario Run will also be introduced for Android-based devices at a later date.

Nintendo is also to release a new game console early next year. –