Nintendo could score big in mobile gaming after iPhone tie-up

NINTENDO
Updated 09 September 2016
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Nintendo could score big in mobile gaming after iPhone tie-up

TOKYO: Nintendo's tie-up with Apple on a Super Mario app for iPhone is more proof the console-maker could score big in mobile gaming, analysts said Thursday, as its stock skyrocketed on the news.
The deal, announced in the United States Wednesday, will see "Super Mario Run" available exclusively for the Apple smartphone from later this year and follows Nintendo's huge hit with the Pokemon Go app this summer.
Investors cheered the deal as they pushed the Tokyo-listed stock up 18 percent in early trade before it finished at 27,955 yen ($275), up 13.2 percent.
Nintendo shares have been on a tear since the July release of Pokemon Go — making the company more valuable than Sony at one stage — as markets embraced the game as vindication for its long-awaited move into mobile gaming.
After years of pressure, Nintendo — which also created the Donkey Kong and Legend of Zelda brands — abandoned a consoles-only policy and opened the door to licensing some of its characters for mobile game use.
"It is a big deal," Neil Campling, an analyst at Northern Trust Capital Markets, said of the Nintendo-Apple announcement.
"This venture is perhaps the biggest endorsement we could possibly have imagined that Nintendo's strategy to monetize their huge franchise IP (intellectual property) on mobile and ex-platform reliant technology is the right one," he said in a commentary, according to Bloomberg News.
The deal comes after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last month appeared at the Rio Olympics' closing ceremony in the mustachioed plumber's red hat and blue overalls to promote the Tokyo 2020 Games.
In March, Kyoto-based Nintendo released its first mobile game "Miitomo" — a free-to-play and interactive game that allows users to create avatars — as it tries to compete in an industry that has increasingly moved online.
That followed the firm's announcement last year that it was teaming up with Japanese mobile specialist DeNA to develop games for smartphones based on its host of popular characters.
Analysts said much of the credit belongs to Nintendo's late president Satoru Iwata, a charismatic visionary who died last year at age 55.
In a dramatic U-turn, Iwata acknowledged in 2014 that Nintendo could no longer afford to stand on the sidelines of the booming mobile games market.
But the company's mobile moves since Iwata's death appear to go well beyond the conservative steps he had envisioned.
"The rails were laid by Mr. Iwata," said Ace Securities analyst Hideki Yasuda.
"Nintendo realized there was a limit to what it could do on its own. They wanted to expand the business and now we're seeing the fruits of those efforts."
The firm is also seeing an uptick in advance orders for a Pokemon game for its 3DS handheld console and it's also developing a new home-based system, set for release next year.
Nintendo stands to profit more directly from the Apple venture than Pokemon Go, which has now been downloaded more than half a billion times.
Nintendo did not create Pokemon Go, but it holds a stake in its US maker Niantic Labs. It also owns about one-third of the Pokemon Company, which will get licensing fees for loaning out the cuddly monsters' brand.
The app sparked a worldwide frenzy among millions of users who took to the streets with their smartphones in a bid to capture and train mythical creatures for battles.


OECD warns of global economic slowdown

Updated 21 November 2018
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OECD warns of global economic slowdown

  • ‘We urge policy-makers to help restore confidence in the international rules-based trading system’
  • Trade tensions have already shaved 0.1-0.2 percentage points off global GDP this year

PARIS: The global economy has peaked and faces a slowdown driven by international trade tensions and tighter monetary conditions, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned Wednesday.
The OECD, which groups the top developed economies, said it had trimmed its growth forecast for 2019 to 3.5 percent from the previous 3.7 percent.
The 2018 estimate was left unchanged at 3.7 percent.
For 2020, the global economy should grow 3.5 percent, it said in its latest Economic Outlook report.
“The shakier outlook in 2019 reflects deteriorating prospects, principally in emerging markets such as Turkey, Argentina and Brazil,” it said.
“The further slowdown in 2020 is more a reflection of developments in advanced economies as slower trade and lower fiscal and monetary support take their toll.”
OECD chief Angel Gurria highlighted problems caused by trade conflicts and political uncertainty — an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s stand-off with China which has roiled the markets.
“We urge policy-makers to help restore confidence in the international rules-based trading system,” Gurria said in a statement.
Trade tensions have already shaved 0.1-0.2 percentage points off global GDP this year, the Economic Outlook report said.
If Washington were to hike tariffs to 25 percent on all Chinese imports — as Trump has threatened to do — world economic growth could fall to close to three percent in 2020.
Growth rates would drop by an estimated 0.8 percent in the US and by 0.6 percent in China, it added.
For the moment, the OECD puts US economic growth at 2.9 percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2019, unchanged from previous estimates, but trimmed China by 0.1 percentage point each to 6.6 percent and 6.3 percent.
It warned that “a much sharper slowdown in Chinese growth would damage global growth significantly, particularly if it were to hit financial market confidence.”
Laurence Boone, OECD Chief Economist, said “There are few indications at present that the slowdown will be more severe than projected. But the risks are high enough to raise the alarm and prepare for any storms ahead.”