Shares in Japanese gaming company Nintendo Co., Ltd (TYO:7974) were up more than 23% in U.S. trading after the company announced a Super Mario game for iOS.
The news came at an Apple event organized to announce the arrival of the new iPhone 7 smartphone. During the presentation, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto took to the stage to announce the new mobile game.
Super Mario Run to be exclusive to iOS
This will be the first time that Nintendo makes a traditional game for smartphones. The creator of the original Super Mario Bros., Miyamoto is a legend in the video game world. He came on stage to announce a new game called Super Mario Run, which will be exclusive to iOS.
“For the past 30 years, every time Mario has encountered a new platform, he has evolved and continued running toward a new goal,” Miyamoto said at the Apple Event. “And now Mario is running toward his next goal: iPhone
The game was demonstrated on stage and showed a character navigating a 2D Mario stage. Commentators have pointed out the similarities with a competitive game mode seen on Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for the GameBoy Color.
New game could mark shift towards mobile for Nintendo
News of the move was warmly received by investors, who have long pressured Nintendo to bring some of its famous characters to smartphones. A partnership with mobile game maker DeNA was announced in March 2015, and the first of various free-to-play mobile games was released this March.
While the announcement of Super Mario Run is welcome, it is only one game. Nintendo has traditionally been wary of releasing its iconic games for platforms that aren’t its own.
During today’s Apple event it was announced that the new game would be sold for a set fee. There was nothing to suggest that in-game purchases would be available, nor that it will be free to download.
The game will be released in time for holiday season 2016. Nintendo also announced a Mario sticker pack will be released at the same time as iOS 10, compatible with the newly updated Messages application.
Pokemon Go coming to Apple Watch
In another gaming-themed announcement, we learned that Pokemon Go will soon be made available for the Apple Watch. John Hanke of developer Niantic Labs demonstrated how the game, which was the story of the summer with over 500 million global downloads, would work on the wearable.
The news led to a further spike in Nintendo shares, as the company holds a large stake in Niantic and the Pokemon Company.
Niantic revealed that the Pokemon Go app for Apple Watch will show players how far they have to walk to hatch an egg, how many experience points they need to reach another level and more information about their fitness. You will also be able to see when a Pokemon or pokestop is near you without having to check your smartphone.
These two announcements show a focus on gaming from Apple. The fact that Super Mario Run will be exclusive to iOS gives the company a huge boost over Android rivals in the eyes of Nintendo fans.
At the same time Nintendo has seen its stock price soar, trading up 23% at $34.61. The move could mark a shift towards mobile for the company, while it also stands to benefit from the introduction of Pokemon Go to the Apple Watch.