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While Pokémon Go players thronged America’s streets, a similar frenzy broke out on the floor of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
During the height of the Pokémon Go craze in mid-July 2016, stock traders set a new one-day record for the exchange by trading 476 billion yen worth of Nintendo shares. (That’s about $4.7 billion US). Nintendo’s stock went up 14% that day. The company’s market value—the total worth of the company based on its share price—jumped to $42.5 billion, making Nintendo even more valuable than Sony.
Nintendo’s shine reflected onto U.S. stocks as well. The company’s partner, Niantic, released Pokémon Go on July 6. Over the next week, while Nintendo stock spiked, major U.S. video game companies saw their value grow as well. The share price of Electronic Arts, makers of the Battlefield, Madden NFL, and Sims series, rose 3.6% from July 6-12. The share price of Activision, makers of the Call of Duty, Diablo, and Warcraft series, rose 5.3% from July 6-12. And the share price of Take Two Interactive, makers of the BioShock, Grand Theft Auto, and Red Dead series, rose 9% from July 6-12. All three stocks hit a new year-to-date high on July 12. You might call one stock’s rise along with Nintendo a coincidence. But the rise of all three suggests that investors suddenly saw all video game companies through rose-colored glasses.
Nintendo saw the biggest price spike—but also the biggest fall. Nintendo’s share price which peaked at 31,770 yen on July 19, fell 32.3% to 21,505 by the end of that month. Still, that’s about 50% higher than before Pokémon Go’s release.