Business

Pokemon Go phenomenon gives Nintendo shares record lift

Millions have downloaded the virtual reality monster-hunting app Image copyright SOPHIA KEMBOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Nintendo has enjoyed its biggest weekly share price gain in more than 30 years following the launch of Pokemon Go.

Its stock jumped by 70%, boosting its market value from £13bn to £19.6bn.

Shares surpassed a near-35% rise in August 1989 when the Japanese company launched Dragon Quest, a fantasy role-playing game, in the US.

Pokemon Go, a virtual reality treasure hunt where players hunt monsters that appear on their smartphones, leads the free-to-download app chart.

It was made available in the UK this week following its launch in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

It was developed by the Pokemon Company, which is 32% owned by Nintendo, and Niantic, which was spun out of Google last year when the search engine giant announced it was setting up Alphabet as its new parent company.

Since then, the Pokémon Company, Google and Nintendo have invested up to $30m in Niantic to develop Pokemon Go.

However, the success of Pokemon Go has not been without controversy.

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington asked people not to play Pokemon Go on their phones during their visit, branding it "extremely inappropriate".

The nearby Arlington National Cemetery also warned off Pokemon players. A spokesman said they had not experienced any problems yet, but wanted to pre-empt any issues.

"Playing games such as Pokemon Go on these hallowed grounds would not be deemed appropriate," cemetery officials said in a statement.

Both locations feature in the new smartphone game.