Never underestimate the power of Mario. Japan’s main stock index, the Nikkei 225, enjoyed a Super Mario boost as share prices rose for video game maker Nintendo and Japanese banks.
The delightful dungareed character is delivering the goods for Nintendo. The company announced the release date of the new Super Mario game for the iPhone yesterday (15 December on Apple Store in case you missed it). And shares have surged as much as five per cent following the announcement.
They eventually closed 2.78 per cent higher at 25,550 yen, consolidating a rally for the stock price: it's up 52.5 per cent for the year to date.
The Nikkei 225 closed up 1.1 per cent at 17,862, having gone to an intraday nine-month high of 17,886. Shares were also helped by the yen's fall against the dollar as it temporarily rose to 109.76 before falling back to end the day even.
Super Mario Run will be available for $9.99 or €9.99 in 11 different languages, accessible to 151 countries.
It's a welcome boost after the Pokemon Go confusion earlier in the year. Shares in Nintendo initially surged when the game became one of the summer's biggest crazes, but then slumped once Nintendo said it didn't actually have much to do with it (holding onto a 32 per cent stake in The Pokemon Company). Plus, Pokemon Go was free to download.
Its shares had also dipped late last month after concerns over its new Switch console. A trailer teasing the console underwhelmed investors and resulted in shares dropping 6.5 per cent.
Nintendo has promised to unveil more gaming titles by March 2017 with an Android version of Super Mario Run also in the works.