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Nintendo Switch: 'Monster Hunter XX' coming to console, shares hit 8-year high

  • Nintendo shares rallied 5.48 percent to hit their highest level since October 2008.
  • Capcom announced the release of "Monster Hunter XX" on the Nintendo Switch, giving investors hope that sales of the console could get a boost.
  • "Monster Hunter" is not well-known in western markets, but analysts said it is credited with helping sales of Nintendo's handheld 3DS console.

Nintendo shares rallied over 5 percent on Friday, hitting a more than eight-and-a-half-year high after major game maker Capcom announced a popular game would be coming to the Switch, with investors hoping this will help sales of the gaming giant's flagship console.

Shares of the Japanese firm closed up at 33,510 yen ($300.72), marking a 5.48 percent rise from the day before. This is the highest level since October 2008. Nintendo added $2.2 billion to its market capitalization as a result of the share price move.

On Friday, Capcom, the game studio behind major titles including the "Street Fighter" and "Resident Evil" franchises, announced that "Monster Hunter XX" would be coming to the Nintendo Switch.

A person dressed as the Nintendo character Mario waves at a pop-up Nintendo venue in Madison Square Park, March 3, 2017 in New York City.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
A person dressed as the Nintendo character Mario waves at a pop-up Nintendo venue in Madison Square Park, March 3, 2017 in New York City.

The game is not well known in western markets but the franchise is a massive hit in Japan where it will be released. A version of the game was released on Nintendo's 3DS in 2011 and was credited with helping the handheld console become a success in Japan, according to Serkan Toto, CEO of Japanese gaming consultant and advisory group, Kantan Games.

"People were buying the 3DS just because of the game. A lot of investors are expecting a similar effect with the Switch," Toto told CNBC in a phone interview on Friday.

Capcom did not release many details about "Monster Hunter XX". While Nintendo has many strong brands of its own such as the Mario or Zelda games, many investors were concerned that it could struggle to attract third party developers onto the Switch console.

But those fears appear to have abated given companies like Electronic Arts, the makers of the FIFA soccer game, and Sega, have developed titles for the console. The announcement of "Monster Hunter XX" adds hope that more third party games could be released.

"It sends a signal that one of the A-list developers in the world is bringing one of their top games to the Switch, and you can also make the point when they do that that others might follow," Toto said.

Nintendo shares are up 36.5 percent year-to-date following the company's foray into the mobile gaming world with the likes of "Pokemon Go" and "Mario Run" which are regarded as fairly successful. The Japanese giant has seen a boost to its brand which has seen fans clamoring to get their hands of a re-released version of the NES Classic last year and renewed interest in Nintendo's famous characters.

There is a lot riding on the Nintendo Switch console which was released earlier this year and has so far sold 2.74 million units.

The company has also set itself high expectations following earnings guidance in April. Nintendo said that operating profit for the fiscal year ending in March 2018 would be 65 billion yen, which if realized, would mark a 121 percent year-on-year increase. It would also be the biggest profit since the fiscal year ended March 2011.