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Apple could make up to $3 billion from 'Pokémon Go' over the next two years

Everyone’s crazy about Pokémon Go, which has turned into a virtual gold mine for Nintendo. But the company isn’t catching them all when it comes to revenue, as estimates now place Apple’s cut at a staggering $3 billion over the next two years.

The somewhat unexpected windfall for Apple comes due to its App Store policies. Apple gets a 30 percent cut of all sales, regardless of whether you’re a small-time developer or a multibillion-dollar corporation like Nintendo. Needham & Company analyst Laura Martin says her research indicates that Pokémon is doing better than other previous iOS gaming hits, leading her to forecast big-time revenue.

“As background, Candy Crush generated more than $1B of revenue in each of 2013 and 2014, and Pokémon Go’s ratio of paid users to total users is 10 [times] higher,” Martin is quoted as saying in a research note by 9to5Mac. If she’s right, the popular game might account for a significant portion of App Store revenue in 2016.

Related: Pokémon Go — the ultimate tips guide

App Store revenues were about $20 billion for all of 2015. While it seems a bit insane to think a single game could account for 15 percent of App Store revenue, just take a look at how addictive the game has become for many. Add in options like buying $150 worth of PokéCoins, and it just might be possible.

Besides the windfall for Apple, Pokémon Go is also changing the fortunes for its parent company. Nintendo is now worth $42.5 billion, double what it was before the game’s release. The company set a record on the Tokyo stock exchange Friday for the most stock trading in a single company in one day this century, The Verge reports.

Of course, investors could also be responding to Nintendo’s announcement of a special edition of the original NES coming this holiday. From the public response, that looks to be a surefire hit — so the best days for Nintendo might yet be to come.