Nintendo Shares Drop as Pokemon Go Slips in Japan Rankings

  • App drops to No. 4 from No. 1 in Japan on Apple devices
  • Nintendo shares fall following their worst drop since 1989

Product Delay Weighs on Nintendo's Shares

Nintendo Co. shares declined to a three-week low after the hit game Pokemon Go dropped from the top of app download charts in Japan.

The mobile game fell to fourth place among highest-grossing apps for Apple devices in Japan, according to researcher App Annie. The shares, which last week posted their biggest decline in more than two decades, dropped 2.5 percent to 20,965 yen at the close in Tokyo, the lowest since July 11.

“That’s a surprisingly fast and big drop” in the rankings, said Serkan Toto, founder of consultant Kantan Games Inc. “In Japan’s app market in particular, there is a big gap between the top 1 and 2, and the rest.”

The share reaction underscores the difficulty analysts and investors have had in gauging the impact of the game on Nintendo’s bottom line. While Pokemon Go has been a social phenomenon, with parks and streets in cities from New York to Tokyo filled with people chasing virtual pocket monsters on their phones. Nintendo’s stock almost doubled in the weeks after the game’s debut. The Kyoto-based company has said that it doesn’t expect a huge boost from the app, which it developed with Pokemon Co. and Niantic Inc. An accessory called Pokemon Go Plus, was also delayed last week.

Japan was the second-most lucrative market for smartphone apps in the second quarter, after the U.S., according to App Annie. Pokemon Go is still the highest grossing app in the U.S. on both Apple and Android devices, and the top app for Android devices in Japan, according to the researcher.

Pokemon Go was replaced by Mixi Inc.’s Monster Strike as the No. 1 grossing title, followed by GungHo Online Entertainment Inc.’s Puzzle & Dragons and Aniplex Inc.’s Fate/Grand Order.

An update to the app that rolled out over the weekend wiped out in-game progress of some users, the Telegraph reported. The game’s official Twitter account acknowledged that some users were experiencing login issues, but reassured them that game progress remained intact and posted a link to a potential fix to the problem.

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