Tokyo - Nintendo skyrocketed in Tokyo on Thursday as its new smartphone game Pokemon Go picks up legions of fans globally, and investors cheer the firm's move into mobile gaming.
The shares, which had soared more than 50% since the game's release last week, jumped 16.6%t to ¥25 460 yen ($244) by the break.
"The expectation is that Pokemon Go's success will contribute to the success of Nintendo's other original games, and even to the success of its next game console," SMBC Nikko Securities analyst Eiji Maeda told AFP.
But "the share price is reaching its upside limit".
Bloomberg reported that Pokemon Go, the location-based mobile game that has become a massive hit, began as an April Fool’s joke.
In 2014, Google unveiled “Pokemon Challenge” for Google Maps complete with a promotional video, inviting users to find and capture the cutesy fictional monsters within the application. The feature was active for a short while before it was turned off.
Released last week, Pokemon Go grabbed peoples’ attention by blending the spheres of Pokemon and mobile gaming. There’s a ready-made generation of fans, nurtured on playing cards, video games and cartoon shows, familiar with the story-line of finding, training and pitting “pocket monsters” against each other.
With the new game, players are encouraged to traverse their physical surroundings, phone in hand, to find new characters. The game’s exploding popularity has sent people into bars and pizzerias, led to the discovery of a dead body and may even be helping robbers target victims.
“This is probably the first smartphone game that has spawned a social phenomenon,” said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo.
READ: Pokemon Go digital popularity is also warping real life