Nintendo Reports 200% Increase in Profits on the Back of Switch
2020 has been another good year for Nintendo. They announced, in their half-year fiscal reports, a 209% increase in operating profits from the same period of the year before. The oldest gaming company in the world continues to flex their ability to produce some of the most popular consoles ever made. From the Game Boy to the DS to the Wii, their catalogue is full of best-sellers.
The release of the Nintendo Switch was hotly anticipated in 2017. Judging by all the promotional details, fans could expect a culmination of what looked like ever console all in one: the handheld quality of the DS and Gameboy with the physical and TV-ready play of the Wii.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a hugely successful title
Today's players are more discerning than ever before and they are more attuned to the benchmarks of genuine quality than ever before. Developers need to augment their libraries, enhance graphics and gameplay, and ensure that bonuses are always one step better than their competitors'.
This is mirrored within the gaming world as a whole. Each year represents a new battleground for Triple-A developers. Not only are there competitors working with more advanced methods and technologies each year, but the player – the global market – is growing more attuned to what it is that really makes a game good and, more importantly, worth purchasing and playing on that device.
Since its release over the first three years ago, the Switch has sold very well, becoming the fastest selling home console in the United States and Japan, shifting roughly sixty-five million units. Forecasts predict the console will attain similar sales figures to Sony's widely successful PS4.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was released a month or so after the Switch. It's a remaster. The game was originally debuted on Nintendo's poor performing Wii U. Critics said this racer is one of the best ever made. The maps look amazing on the new console and are very fun for those of all abilities. New features enable veteran players to learn and develop new tactics to master the game all over again and again and again. It has sold almost twenty-nine million units.
First party titles like Super Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon always tend to sell well as they are only available on Nintendo consoles. The Kyoto-founded company wanted industry support to bulk out its software library initially. Third party and independent developers were asked to contribute. This will always be a sticking point for Nintendo consoles. AAA titles like FIFA 21 and Call of Duty: Cold War will perform better on other home consoles like Xbox X series and PS5 as that's what they're optimised for as the audience are playing those consoles.
One of the reasons Nintendo's profits rocketed in 2020 has been the release of the long-awaited release of one of their highly revered game series, Animal Crossing.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Released in March 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons dominated the charts around the world, and quickly became the second-most popular game on the Nintendo Switch, selling twenty-six million units since its release. The sales of this title more than double that of the next best-selling Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which was released on the Nintendo 3DS.
In addition to this, critics were very complimentary, rating the game highly. While they noted the slower start to the game than previous titles had, when the good content rolled, they rolled. The added depth to how players can approach the game – designing islands, collecting bugs and furniture, creating art – continues to engage and offer new means of exploring what the game contains and allows.
The variety of villagers with their unique personalities can interact with each other and provide plenty of opportunity for entertain but, also, display how much difference there can be in every session and between every island.
For the hoarders and collectors, there are so many fish, bugs, and fossils to find, collect, and display in your museum. Each season provides variations of what's available to find.
The Animal Crossing series is a social simulation game. The idea is to create a community. The multiplayer aspect of the game has some scope for added complexity while players visit other islands and can find and trade items, but the means of exploring is limited.
Upcoming Releases and Future Plans
With the release of Microsoft's and Sony's next-gen consoles imminent, Nintendo will be quite happy with the performance of the first half of 2020. The continued performance of their first-party titles will likely be where their hope lies.