Tech

Nintendo profits surge as 'Animal Crossing' game becomes fastest-selling title on the Switch

Key Points
  • Nintendo made net profit of 259 billion yen ($2.4 billion) in the fiscal year ending in March, up 33% from the previous year.
  • "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" sold over 13 million copies in the first six weeks, making it the fast-selling Switch game.
  • But the firm warned that the coronavirus pandemic was posing risks to its supply chain, sales and research and development.
A high school teacher plays Nintendo's Animal Crossing at home in Melbourne during the country's enforced coronavirus coronavirus lockdown.
William West | AFP via Getty Images

Nintendo posted solid earnings on Thursday, boosted by demand for its Switch console and popular "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" game during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Japanese gaming giant said it made net profit of 259 billion yen ($2.4 billion) in the fiscal year ending in March, up 33% from the previous year, while net revenue rose 9% to 1.3 trillion yen. In the fourth quarter alone, Nintendo's profits surged threefold.

The firm said both its hardware and software performed well despite the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns on its business. Sales in its video game business grew around 9% to almost 1.3 billion yen.

Nintendo said that "Animal Crossing: New Horizons," which was released on March 20, sold more than 13 million copies in the first six weeks, making it the fastest-selling title for the Switch.

VIDEO20:4620:46
How Nintendo has stayed relevant for over a century

The game, which sees players on an island collect and build items among other things, has become something of a craze during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many have attributed its success to gamers wanting a sense of escapism while stuck at home under lockdown restrictions.

Still, Nintendo did warn that the health crisis was posing risks to its supply chain, sales and research and development. A strong yen is also impacting the company's sales, resulting in a reduction of 37.3 billion yen year-on-year.

"The situation regarding COVID19 is changing day-by-day around the world, so we will carefully monitor trends while continuing to gather information and taking the measures necessary to minimize the impact of these concerns," the company said.

The group forecast a drop of around 23% in net profit, to 200 billion yen, for this fiscal year. Nintendo's forecasts are typically viewed as being conservative.