Shares in Nintendo (NASDAQ:NTDOY) rose 4 percent in Tokyo trading after the company announced “Mario Kart 8” surpassed 1 million units sold in the United States. Now, the Nintendo-owned Pokemon Company said it plans to release an online trading-card app for Apple’s iPad.
The “Pokemon” franchise was created in 1996 by Japanese game designer Satoshi Tajiri, 48, who launched the brand as a pair of interlinkable Game Boy role-playing titles. “Pokemon” is the second most successful and profitable video game franchise in the world, second to Nintendo’s own “Mario” franchise. Cumulative sales of “Pokemon” games have reached more than 200 million copies.
The “Pokemon” trading card game is already available for desktop computers.
“We have been here many times before in regards to Nintendo’s tentative plans to introduce some of its characters for smart devices,” Amir Anvarzadeh, manager of Japanese equity sales at Singapore-based BGC Partners, Inc., told Bloomberg.
Shares in the video game company are down 16 percent since the beginning of the year. The company reported a net loss of $97.3 million from May to June this year compared to a profit of $88 million in the same quarter last year. Sales totaled $732.3 million, down 8 percent from 2013. Nintendo thinks it can make it up in the all-important holiday shopping season, and stuck to its prior annual forecast of $196 million profit on $5.8 billion in sales.
On May 30, Nintendo launched the highly anticipated “Mario Kart 8,” which became the Wii U’s fastest-selling game at 1.2 million units sold worldwide within two weeks. The game’s release also increased console sales in May of 2014 more than 90 percent over May of last year. Still, overall profits are still down for the brand, though Nintendo is confident that sales will increase this holiday season.