Animal Crossing catapults Nintendo to stratospheric earnings

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Nintendo has posted extraordinarily high earnings for its normally quiet April-June quarter, as Animal Crossing: New Horizons continues to be a sales juggernaut that drives Switch hardware purchases.

Operating profit is up 428 percent year-on-year to 145 billion yen ($1.37 billion) off 357 billion yen ($3.39 billion) in revenue, with Switch sales up 166 percent to 5.68 million systems in the quarter. Nintendo has now shipped 61.44 million Switch consoles, just 470,000 shy of the original Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold more than 10 million units in the quarter, bringing its total sales up to 22.4 million. Nintendo says that of all the new Switch consoles that were played for the first time this quarter, more than half of them played New Horizons on the first day, demonstrating that the game is bringing new customers to the Switch. It’s also sold over 10 million copies more than any other Animal Crossing title, and is already the second best-selling Switch game overall behind Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

The Switch was affected by COVID-19-related supply constraints in the quarter, but Nintendo says “the situation has almost recovered.” The bigger impact was on fitness RPG Ring Fit Adventure, which has now sold more than 4 million copies but continues to be hard to find.

“Demand for this new proposal from Nintendo of exercising by playing an adventure game was so much higher than our forecasts that the global supply has been unable to keep up since release,” Nintendo says in its statement. “The lingering effects of this product shortage in the market are still an inconvenience to a large number of consumers, but as with the Nintendo Switch family of systems, we will continue to work to ensure a sufficient amount of shipments for the holiday season.”

Nintendo’s schedule for the rest of the year is more or less a mystery. The company announced expanded Wii U port Pikmin 3 Deluxe yesterday, but there aren’t any big-hitter holiday titles that we know of yet. That said, Nintendo released Paper Mario: The Origami King last month just two months after its announcement, so there’s still time.

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