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Nintendo shares dumped after Super Mario game release

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TOKYO  - Nintendo shares dived almost five percent Friday, hours after the release of its latest mobile phone game and despite it topping download charts in several countries.

Coming on the heels of the Pokemon Go craze this summer, the game was released for iPhone only in about 150 countries on Thursday, a key test for Nintendo's fledgling foray into mobile gaming.


But when the Japanese market opened Friday, investors pressed the sell button on Nintendo, which tumbled 4.89 percent to 26,225 yen ($222) by the break -- wiping almost $2 billion off the firm's market capitalisation.

Shares in DeNA, Nintendo's co-developer on the game, plunged 7.07 percent to 2,848 yen.

Nintendo had soared nearly 12 percent between the September announcement of Super Mario Run's planned release and Thursday's closing price.

The game, based on the firm's popular Italian plumber, was number one in download rankings in Japan, Germany, Australia and Britain, according to market researcher SensorTower.

But some analysts had warned that the nearly $10 price tag to buy the full version could scare away some potential customers -- Pokemon Go is free -- and Android users will not be able to buy it until a later date.

It is unclear how much the game will boost Nintendo's finances.

"Some investors who may have overestimated the expected revenue from downloads seem to be disappointed," Daiwa Securities analyst Takao Suzuki told AFP.

"Super Mario Run was in the top spot in download rankings and in sales in many European countries, while in the US it is number one in downloads but seventh by revenue.

"Sales in the US leave a bit to be desired."

The shares may continue to struggle next week, Suzuki added.

"But I don't think they will keep sliding further... It seems that short-term investors sold their shares, but for long-term investors there is no need to be concerned," he said.

Nintendo refused for years to move into smartphone gaming or license its characters for online play.

But, as the Kyoto-based giant struggled to repair its battered balance sheet, it changed course and announced last year it was teaming up with DeNA to develop games for smartphones and tablets based on its host of popular characters.

In March, Nintendo released its first mobile game "Miitomo" -- a free-to-play and interactive game that allows users to create avatars.

Then the Pokemon Go game -- based on Nintendo characters -- exploded on to the market, sparking a phenomenon as it was downloaded more than half a billion times.

But it was only partly Nintendo's creation -- the game is owned by San Francisco-based Niantic -- and it has had little impact on the firm's bottom line.

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Muslim Global: Nintendo shares dumped after Super Mario game release
Nintendo shares dumped after Super Mario game release
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