Nintendo Gains on Investment in Pokemon Game Maker Niantic

  • Google joins $30 million funding for Niantic Pokemon Go games
  • Deal shows Nintendo deepening relationships in mobile games

People take photographs of performers dressed as Pikachu, a character from Nintendo's Pokemon game. Pokemon Go will be available on Apple iPhones and Google Android devices.

Photographer: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg

Nintendo Co. rose to the highest in a month after joining with others to invest as much as $30 million to help game designer Niantic Inc. develop mobile games including Pokemon Go.

Nintendo jumped 4 percent to 22,845 yen at the close in Tokyo, the highest since Sept. 14. Nintendo, Pokemon Co. and Google Inc. will invest $20 million up front with the rest conditional on certain milestones, Niantic said.

The Japanese console maker is trying to win back casual gamers lost over the years as it declined to follow them to smartphones. Niantic’s Pokemon Go uses characters from the popular children’s card game, animation and video game series in an augmented-reality setting similar to its +Ingress game.

“The shares are going up because of the announcement of the investment,” said Tomoaki Kawasaki, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities Co. in Tokyo. “It shows that Nintendo is making a strong effort to develop smartphone games."

Nintendo stock has more than doubled over the past 12 months on expectations the company’s move into smartphone games with DeNA Co. will spark sales.

Pokemon Go will be available on Apple Inc. iPhones and Google Android devices. Users can hold up their smartphone camera in a public place to “see” game characters placed around the landscape by the game, according a video demonstration on the company’s website.

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