Super six-month performance for Nintendo boosts holiday hopes

5 Nov 2020

Image: © Andrey Armyagov/

Nintendo has issued a more optimistic forecast for the coming months on the back of a strong half-year performance buoyed by lockdown gaming surges.

Reporting its financial figures for the six months ending 30 September 2020, games giant Nintendo has revealed an eye-watering 243.6pc surge in profit to 213.1bn yen (about €1.7bn).

The huge lift in earnings for the Japanese company comes on the back of increased demand for gaming products while regions across the world have faced coronavirus-related restrictions.

Overall, net sales at Nintendo in the six-month period rose 73.3pc to 769.5bn yen.

Looking at individual games’ performance in the reporting period, Nintendo said that September release Super Mario 3D All-Stars is “off to a good start” with 5.21m units sold, while July’s Paper Mario: The Origami King for Nintendo Switch has sold 2.82m units.

However, it was an older title that carried much of the momentum for Nintendo’s strong six-month performance. The much-anticipated Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was already responsible for a strong performance in Nintendo’s last quarterly report, continued from strength to strength with 14.27m units sold in the reporting period.

Released in March following several delays, the serendipitous timing made the new Animal Crossing title the distraction of choice for many people in the early days of Covid-19 restrictions due to its charming, laidback vibe and escapist theme.

Nintendo’s next moves

Overall software sales reached 100.25m units, a 71.4pc year-on-year increase. Hardware sales saw an even bigger boost of 80.9pc year-on-year growth to 12.53m units. But the biggest rise was seen on the digital sales side of the business, which includes download-only software and add-ons. Overall, digital sales saw a 139.4pc increase to 171.5bn yen.

The strong half-year performance has encouraged Nintendo to increase its projections for the full year. The company is now expecting to report a net profit of 300bn yen (up from an earlier estimate of 200bn yen) for its full fiscal year ending in March 2021.

The forecast has also brightened for Nintendo’s full-year sales, now projected to reach 1.4trn yen.

New releases in Nintendo’s pipeline include Pikmin 3 Deluxe and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuits, released on Nintendo Switch in October. Pokémon fans can also get more add-on content with the new expansion passes for Pokémon Sword and Shield.

As part of an ongoing celebration of 35 years of Super Mario Bros, the retro handheld game series Game & Watch (originally launched in 1980) will be revived with the November launch of Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. This will be followed by a new Bowser’s Fury mode for Super Mario 3D World, scheduled for release in February.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.