Nintendo has released its financial statements and results for fiscal year 2020 (April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020). To say they had a very positive year would be an understatement thanks to the popularity of the Nintendo Switch console and ever-growing stable of exclusive hit games. Although COVID-19 is expected to have a small impact for fiscal year 2021, for the most part it didn’t have too big of an impact on this reporting.
Total number of Nintendo Switches sold for FY 2020 came in at an astounding 21.03 million. This represents a 24% increase over the prior fiscal year’s number of systems sold. In September of 2019 Nintendo released the Switch Lite, a smaller portable-only version of its popular gaming system, for a suggested retail price of $199.99. This cheaper alternative helped spur additional sales for the fiscal year with a total of 6.19 million sold. 14.83 million of the regular model of the Switch sold throughout the fiscal year. The total number of Nintendo Switches sold life-to-date (through March 31, 2020) now sits at 55.77 million.
Of course it’s the software that drives hardware growth and here Nintendo saw a massive increase year-over-year. For FY 2020 they sold 168.72 million units of software, compared to 118.55 million the year prior, giving them a 42.3% increase. There are now 27 titles that have sold over a million copies (18 of those are first party). Mario Kart 8 Deluxe still holds the distinct honor of being the best selling game on the system life-to-date with 24.77 million copies sold. Coming in second place is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with 18.84 million sold. Tied for third are The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey with 17.41 million of each out the door. Despite only releasing this past November, Pokémon Sword & Shield come in fifth place with 17.37 million in sales.
Released on March 20, 2020 and only having eleven days of sales for this reporting, Animal Crossing: New Horizons managed to sell an astounding 11.77 million copies! This makes it the best start ever for any Nintendo Switch title. In fact, for its first 6 weeks on the market Nintendo has sold through 13.41 million copies to customers. To put that in perspective, the Switch exclusive has already outsold the lifetime sales of Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS) and Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS).
Nintendo’s other sectors of its business were up as well for FY 2020. Its online digital side of things raked in 204.1 billion yen, a 71.8% increase over last fiscal year. This includes downloadable versions of packaged software as well as DLC and digital-only software releases. It also includes sales of its Nintendo Switch Online memberships. Its mobile business brought in 51.2 billion yen, up 11.5% year-over-year.
Nintendo does caution that COVID-19 is a rapidly changing situation and can have impacts on the company going forward. They warn that delays in production and shipping can have an adverse effect on its supply chain. There could be impacts on physical goods if retail outlets continue to remain closed. They also warn that development schedules may be impacted due to work at home conditions in different parts of the world.
Mainly because of the challenges presented by COVID-19, Nintendo’s FY 2021 forecast shows a decline in almost every category. They are forecasting net sales of 1200 billion yen (-8.3%), net profit of 200 billion yen (-22.7%), and anticipate Switch hardware declining to 19 million units (-9.6%) and software going down to 140 million units (-17%). Nintendo is keeping most of its future lineup of games close to its chest. Indeed, we don’t know a lot about what’s in the pipeline from a first party perspective. They do mention that Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is scheduled for May 29, 2020. Also on the way is Club House Games on June 5. They are promoting the Expansion Pass for Pokémon Sword and Shield, with the first part of that DLC (The Isle of Armor) hitting in June. We expect to hear a lot more about what Nintendo has planned for the second half of the year over the next few months.
The full financial statements released by Nintendo are below for you to dig into them!
Nintendo FY 2020 Financial Statements
Nintendo FY 2020 Financial Results Explanatory