Nintendo’s Doing Way Better Than Fine, Don’t Worry

The Switch's always-expanding family of hardware and games made sure Nintendo's sales in 2019 were anything but lacking.

Nearly 18 billion Switches. Over 16 million swords and shields. And nearly… *puts pinky to mouth*  Ten. Billion. Dollars. Is this a rich man in a submarine crafted to look like him, or is it a video game corporation? Both are doing fine today, but in this case, it’s Nintendo’s end-of-year report on its sales numbers.

How are all these numbers coming out? In short, Nintendo’s “Consolidated Financial Highlights” outline for the majority of the year, the year excluding January through February, were posted today. Basically, we’re getting a pretty extensive look at the company’s financial health

The company overall did way better than last year: their profit was over 196 billion JPY, which translates to over 1.8 billion USD, after Japanese taxes. The actual net sales peaked just over 1 trillion yen, over 9.3 billion USD. Whatever they’re spending that money on for the company is obviously working.

As for actual practical sales, Nintendo had nothing but praise for itself. And it’s pretty well-earned, as it reported 17.74 million total sales of the Nintendo Switch console. Of course, this now includes the Nintendo Lite and the Tencent-arranged China sales of the Switch, both of which launched this year.

Unsurprisingly, that means game sales went up, too. Nintendo especially points to its digital storefront’s massive growth, plus Nintendo Switch Online’s widespread adaptation. “Turning to our digital business for dedicated video game platforms, the steady growth in sales of downloadable versions of packaged software and download-only software for Nintendo Switch, as well as the contribution from Nintendo Switch Online throughout the entire fiscal year, helped to bring overall digital sales to 124.9 billion yen (48.3% increase on a year-on-year basis),” the company explained. That’s to say, it nearly doubled its digital storefront sales since 2018.

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And its flagship games certainly made a mark. Nintendo reports that Pokemon Sword & Shield together sold 16.06 million copies, an average of 8 million units each. Tailing not far behind were Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Super Mario Maker 2, both of which sold 5 million units. Reminder that Luigi’s Mansion 3 only came out at the end of October, and Sword & Shield not long after! (“Boycott? Who’s she?” —Nintendo, probably) And meanwhile, Nintendo claims 21 games have reached the million-sales mark on the console, including third-party titles.

Mobile is making a steady climb, in case you’re wondering. But meanwhile, 3DS fans may be sad but unsurprised to hear that sales for the handheld console itself, as well as its games, went down. 🙁

They’re pretty optimistic about this coming year. On top of pretty much everything else about the Switch’s continued success, don’t forget they’re opening literally Nintendo-themed Universal Studios Japan attractions this year, likely before the Tokyo Olympics.

Overall, Nintendo is exactly what we expect it to be: a reliably-selling, monster truck of a game corporation. Good for her! Just remember that there’s no ethical consumption in late-stage capitalism and we’re all just enjoying the ride until the literal heat death of the planet.

[DISCLAIMER: God, I can’t even avoid a Tencent disclaimer in a Nintendo article anymore? Okay, well, Tencent arranged the sales of the Switch in China, Fanbyte is owned by Tencent, we don’t have any editorial affiliation with Nintendo, I say what I want, yada yada.]


Victoria Rose

Victoria is a Brooklyn-based, chaotic-good former dungeon master and a Contributor-At-Large for Fanbyte. She's a self-proclaimed esports pundit, and used to do Dota 2 news and reporting as a full-time part-time gig. She's also four red pandas stacked in a hoodie. [she/her/hers or they/their/theirs]

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