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Nintendo shares jump on news that 'Super Mario' will hit the Apple App Store

Shigeru Miyamoto, creative fellow at Nintendo and creator of Super Mario, speaks on stage during an Apple launch event on September 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California.
Stephen Lam | Reuters
Shigeru Miyamoto, creative fellow at Nintendo and creator of Super Mario, speaks on stage during an Apple launch event on September 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California.

Nintendo's classic title "Super Mario" is coming to the App Store, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced on Wednesday.

U.S.-listed shares of Nintendo jumped more than 28 percent Wednesday after it was announced.

Nintendo creative fellow Shigeru Miyamoto introduced the new game, "Super Mario Run."

The simple game features Mario running to the right, with users tapping to make the character jump and collect coins in a fixed time period for each level. But unlike other iterations of the legacy game, it can be played one-handed, Miyamoto said at the event, in a translation from Japanese. Also new in the game is a battle mode called "toad rally."

The announcement was part of a special event held in San Francisco, where Apple unveiled a new iPhone and Apple Watch series. At the event, Cook said Apple now has 500,000 games in its App Store, helping the company's store generate twice the revenue of its "closest competitor."

"Apple's lead-off announcement shows the power of content exclusivity," said Jennifer Kent, director of Parks Associates. "A new Mario game is likely to be popular not only among the kid/teen crowd but also among the older Millennial generation who grew up with the famous game. Apple is hoping to recreate the 'Pokemon Go' craze of the summer, which also leveraged an established gaming character and a sense of nostalgia to engage gamers from older demographics."

While Android has some apps that emulate the Mario world, "Super Mario Run" is coming first to iPhone, Miyamoto said. It comes as Apple positions itself as a gaming device as rivals like Sony unveiled a new PlayStation 4.

Nintendo's stock was already volatile this year after the release of the blockbuster augmented reality game "Pokemon Go," which is developed and distributed by Niantic, but affiliated with the The Pokémon Company. Nintendo owns 32 percent voting power of The Pokémon Company.

That game will also come to the Apple Watch, Apple said on Wednesday.

Nintendo's U.S.-listed shares are up more than 110 percent year-to-date, but tends to come down from large stock spikes, Kensho and CNBC PRO found.

NTDOY 2016 Chart


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