Pokémon Profits Are Up Because You Can’t Stop Playing Pokémon Go


It’s hard to believe that Pokémon is still popular. The children’s monster battling brand debuted in the mid-’90s as a cartoon and Game Boy game. Once called a fad, the games and cartoon increased in popularity for years. Soon enough, Pokémon grew to be just as big as Mario.

Though much of the brand’s original fan base grew older and moved on to other trends, Pokémon never stopped selling millions of games to an adoring fan base. Just last year, the brand came to mobile phones with the much-loved Pokémon Go, a high-tech take on the original game series. New Nintendo games featuring the series’ beloved characters also launched on portable gaming systems. Before anyone knew it, Pokémon was back and as popular as ever.

Earlier this week, the company behind the world-famous pocket monster brand announced the earnings for their last financial year. Not only did they beat the previous year’s profit thanks to Pokémon’s newfound surge in popularity; they broke a few records, too.

The Pokémon Company’s profit is up 2600% from the previous year.

The company made $143.3 million during the financial year of 2016 (ending in February of this year). This is up from just $5.6 million the previous year, or  a nearly 26X increase in a single year. The company doesn’t make games for Nintendo’s systems, but instead handles merchandising and licensing for the brand, which is where they get their money.

Pokémon Go and other games made the company lots of money.

The newfound popularity of Pokémon on mobile phones and the recently released games on the Nintendo 3DS has increased the brand’s profile over the last year. Since an outside company (Niantic) developed Go, they have to pay The Pokémon Company licensing fees just to use the brand and characters. This is where the bulk of the $143.3 million came from, according to an analyst. The rest came from existing licensees who make merchandise and other products for the brand.

Can you invest in The Pokémon Company?

Not quite. The company is a joint venture between Nintendo (publicly traded as $NTDOY) and private developers Game Freak and Creatures. You could invest in Nintendo, who directly benefits from sales of the brand’s games and related merchandise. In fact, the big N is more or less the reason why Pokémon is immensely popular. Otherwise, there isn’t a Pokémon stock you can buy on any market.