Animal Crossing gave Switch the coronavirus immunity Nintendo needed

Eric Abent - May 7, 2020, 9:59am CDT
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Animal Crossing gave Switch the coronavirus immunity Nintendo needed

While a lot of companies are struggling to adjust during the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems that Nintendo is doing just fine. The company has shared its financial results for the fiscal year 2020, which ended on March 31st. It kicked off its report with a big reveal, noting that operating profit and net profit were up 41.1% and 33.3% over fiscal year 2019, respectively.

Hardware and software sales saw similar spikes over the course of the fiscal year. Nintendo sold 21.03 million hardware units in FY20, compared to the 16.95 million units it sold in FY19. That’s a 24% increase, and it seems that Nintendo has the Switch Lite to thank for that jump. Though the company actually sold fewer standard Switches than it did last year (14.83 million for FY20 vs. 16.95 million for FY19), it also sold 6.19 million Switch Lites in FY20, which more than makes up the difference.

Software sales saw a big leap as well. Nintendo sold 168.72 million software units in FY20, a 42.3% increase over the 118.55 million units it sold in FY19. It probably won’t surprise anyone to learn which games were the big money makers for Nintendo during the year (spoiler: it’s Pokemon and Animal Crossing).

Pokemon Sword and Shield sold a combined 17.37 million units during the the year, which is enough to eclipse many Pokemon games in recent history. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the real star of this financial report, though, as Nintendo claims 11.77 million Animal Crossing sales for FY20. It’s important to keep in mind that Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched 11 days before Nintendo’s fiscal year wrapped up, so Animal Crossing pulled in these sales in around a week and a half.

Of course, Animal Crossing: New Horizons had the benefit of being an already-hyped game launching in the middle of a pandemic when many people were stuck at home with nothing to do, so that certainly may have contributed to sales significantly. In any case, Animal Crossing: New Horizons put up a strong showing at launch, and it along with Pokemon helped the Switch have a stellar year. You can read more about Nintendo’s fiscal year by checking out its latest financial report (PDF).


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