Nintendo Shares Rally As Super Mario Run Makes Leap To Apple’s iPhone

Super Mario is one of the most iconic characters in gaming of all time, and the infamous plumber is certainly Nintendo's most valuable IP. With Nintendo finally focusing on mobile gaming, there's an opportunity to rake in a mountain of cash. Investors realize this, hence why the announcement of the forthcoming free-to-play Super Mario Run headed to iOS devices sparked a surge in Nintendo's share price.

Shares of Nintendo shot up 13 percent in Tokyo trading Thursday. Just a day before, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto stood next to Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple's iPhone 7 event in San Francisco to announce Super Mario Run, a perpetual runner game where Super Mario constantly moves forward. it's a tried-and-true genre on mobile, and barring and end-of-the-world event such as an asteroid twice the size of Texas crashing into Earth, it should be an immensely popular title when it releases in December.

Super Mario Run

"In this game, you constantly move forward through the courses while using a variety of jumps to navigate. Your character will behave differently depending on the timing of your taps, so it's up to you to show off particularly smooth moves, gather coins, and reach the goal. the game's description reads.

It may not be an innovative title (that remains to be seen), but it has Super Mario as star of the show in a mobile gaming genre that's already proven itself. Yes, that's a conservative move by Nintendo. It's also a wise one—there's nothing wrong with Nintendo getting its feet wet in mobile with a runner title featuring one of the most famous gaming characters of all time, and gradually working its way towards more risky gaming mechanics.

Nintendo's also still on track to release a new home game console, the NX, due out in March of next year. At least one analyst thinks that releasing a mobile title such as Super Mario Run is partially intended to familiarize a new generation of gamers to Nintendo's IP, and ultimately lure them over to consoles.

Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute, told The Wall Street Journal that smartphone titles and other character licensing deals really just amount to "a marketing tool for Nintendo to let people become interested in its console games." It's an interesting viewpoint, though it perhaps ignores the massive potential that exists in mobile.