Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

‘Pokemon Go’ Troubles Police, Doubles Nintendo’s Stock Price | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55354759

Niantic, game developer of Nintendo’s smash hit Pokemon GO, Chief Executive Hanke poses for a photo after an interview with Reuters in Tokyo,Reuters

Although stupefying gamers worldwide ‘Pokemon Go’ had some unpleasant runs with the real world, British police have recently released an audio recording of a call to the emergency 999 line in which a youth reported his Pokemon had been stolen.

Police were not amused. The caller was harshly scolded for tying up the line, intended for people in life or death situations.
He also received a text message that misusing the 999 system is a criminal offense.

The recording, made Friday by Gloucestershire police, was released to urge people not to call 999 unless it is a genuine emergency. There have been many incidents linked to the game.

Recently, Stirling Police in Scotland tweeted this warning: “Just to be clear, ‘I was looking for a Pokestop’ is not an acceptable reason for being on the roof of a shop with a crowbar at 2 a.m.”

On the flip side of matters, for Nintendo, “Pokemon Go” just keeps on giving.

Shares in the Japanese game maker closed up 14 percent at 31,700 yen ($300) on the Tokyo Stock exchange Tuesday and have more than doubled in value since the wildly popular augmented-reality game was launched on July 6.

Nintendo accounted for nearly one in four shares that changed hands on the TSE’s main board. The sharp rise has doubled the Kyoto-based company’s market capitalization to 4.5 trillion yen ($42.4 billion).

“Pokemon Go,” a smartphone app that uses Google Maps to overlay reality with Pokemon creatures, was developed by Niantic, a Google spinoff that Nintendo Co. invested in last year. The game has yet to be released in Japan and most of Asia.

The release of “Pokemon Go” has been at least a temporary reprieve for Nintendo, which had struggled as the shift in gaming to mobile devices ate into its highly successful handheld game machine business.

The windfall could help reverse Nintendo’s fortunes, although some analysts think its impact on the company’s revenues will be limited because the game is free apart from certain revenue-earning features.