Skip to main content

Nintendo profits decline year-on-year as Switch hits 89 million sold

Nintendo profits decline year-on-year as Switch hits 89 million sold


It was not exactly a normal quarter this time in 2020

Share this story

Illustrations by Alex Castro / The Verge

Nintendo has released its earnings for the April-June quarter, and while the figures would normally be strong for what’s usually a slow period, revenue and profit are both down compared to a year ago. That’s perhaps not surprising given the company was then riding a surge in demand for video games during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and had just released the mega-hit Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

By comparison, Switch hardware sales were down 21.7 percent to 4.45 million units, and software sales decreased 10.2 percent to 45.29 million units. Nintendo has now sold 89.04 million Switch consoles in total; for comparison, the PS5 just hit 10 million. Revenue decreased 9.9 percent to 322.6 billion yen ($2.94 billion), while operating profit was 119.6 billion yen ($1.09 billion), a 17.3-percent decline year-on-year.

Unlike last year, when Nintendo sold more than 10 million copies of Animal Crossing to nearly double its figures from the previous quarter, there weren’t any blockbuster Switch titles to bank on. New Pokémon Snap sold 2.07 million copies outside Japan (the game is published by The Pokémon Company in its home market) and Mario Golf: Super Rush sold 1.34 million — Animal Crossing, meanwhile, added an extra 1.26 million copies to its total. It’s now sold nearly 34 million copies worldwide.

Nintendo’s biggest release this current quarter is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, which came out last month. The company can expect a boost in Switch hardware sales next quarter due to the launch of the new OLED model in October, even though it isn’t bringing the widely expected upgrade in power. Nintendo’s slate of games for that all-important holiday quarter includes Metroid Dread, WarioWare: Get It Together, Mario Party Superstars, and remakes of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.