Niantic Labs' Pokémon GO is enjoying a lot of popularity despite the fact that it has only seen limited release last week and is still officially unavailable in most parts of the world. Since the location-based augmented reality mobile game started rolling out on Play Store and App Store last Wednesday, Nintendo's shares experienced significant growth and the company's market value increased by a whopping $7 billion in the meantime. However, it seems like Apple and Google are actually earning more money from the latest Pokemon game than Nintendo. How is that possible?
Well, it's possible mainly because Pokémon GO is not solely owned by Nintendo. The Japanese entertainment company has actually entered into a $30 million partnership with the San Francisco-based developer Niantic and The Pokémon Company in order to make Pokémon GO a reality. Originally founded as an internal Google startup in 2010, Niantic went independent in 2015 after Google's business restructuring and the creation of Alphabet Inc and is pocketing 30% of all of the Pokémon GO's revenue. Another 30% goes to The Pokemon Company which owns all of the licensing rights to the Pokemon franchise and is actually only partially owned by Nintendo while its remaining two-thirds belong to private Japanese games companies Game Freak and Creatures. Factor in the fact that another 30% of Pokemon Go's revenue from the Play Store and App Store goes directly to Google and Apple and you realize that Nintendo is only pocketing around one fifth of the mobile game's earnings – 10% from its stake in The Pokemon Company and another 10% from its own $30 million investment into the project.
Of course, even 20% isn't chunk change when a game as huge as Pokemon Go is concerned and top industry analysts estimate that Nintendo is earning between $800,000 and $1 million on a daily basis, i.e. that the game is recording daily profits between $4 and $5 million. Given these figures and the fact that investors have once again found their faith in Nintendo, it's no wonder the Japanese company's market value jumped as much as it did in the last few days. In case you want to join the Pokemon Go party but the game's still not officially available for download in your country, the good news is that you can still legally sideload it and start catching Pokemon around your neighborhood as soon as today.