Updated with additional comments from Verizon and Sprint.
As wireless hordes embark on frenzied training and fighting in Nintendo's (NTDOY) mobile game sensation Pokemon Go, the networks underpinning the virtual battlegrounds have so far traded with mixed results, while those of rival game-makers have soared.
@jimcramer Since last Friday, # of active players doubled & their data usage more than quadrupled! How's that for some insight? ;)— John Legere (@JohnLegere) July 12, 2016
T-Mobile's stock has gained nearly 2.6% since the hit game debuted on June 6.
Verizon said that Pokémon Go is already in the top 20 apps all-time in the number of downloads and data used. However, the game uses substantially less data than a streaming video service, according to a spokesman. The total data used Tuesday was less than 1% of its total data volume, the spokesman said, comparing Pokémon Go's data traffic profile to Pinterest.
Sprint said that "millions" of its subscribers are playing the game, but did not provide more details about usage.
Nintendo's own ADR shares have climbed more than 70% since Pokemon Go's release, while those of its gaming rivals were all trading at or near record highs this week. Take-Two Interactive (TTWO - Get Report) is up about 3.8%, Activision Blizzard (ATVI - Get Report) has gained close to 5% and Electronics Arts (EA - Get Report) is up about 2.8% since July 6.
And several other mobile game developers have also spiked during Pokemon Go's rampage.
Words with Friends and FarmVille maker Zynga (ZNGA - Get Report) has gained more than 7.5% since the Pokemon Go launch, while Gluu Mobile (GLUU - Get Report) , which has developed games with Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears, is up more than 11%.
The mounting attention paid to Pokemon Go reflects the buzz and the dollars that augmented reality has attracted.
Pokemon Go developer Niantic raised $20 million from The Pokemon Co., Alphabet's (GOOGL - Get Report) Google and Nintendo last year, and the backers agreed to provide another $10 million if the company met some milestones. Augmented reality and virtual reality outfits have been a popular investment, raising $2 billion from corporations and early-stage venture capital firms over the last 12 months, according to Digi-Capital.
Amid the Pokemon Go hype, CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal noted that some once-hot games have fizzled. He questioned whether Pokemon Go would generate the "sustained buzz" of Candy Crush or Clash of Clans.
Reflecting the premium paid for top games, Activision Blizzard paid $5.9 billion for Candy Crush developer King in February. Chinese Internet group Tencent agreed to buy an 84% stake in Clash of Clans maker Supercell for up to $10 billion earlier this year.
For all of the hype about Pokemon Go, Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal suggested in a report that there could be hidden downside in operating an engrossing, location-based with massive list of users. One of the open questions for Nintendo, Goyal wrote, is gauging the "PR nightmare" risk from "Pokemon-related accidents."