Animal Crossing boasts 22.4 million copies sold as the Switch inches closer to overtaking the NES
Nintendo posted its first quarterly financial report covering April to June 2020 on August 6 showing off one of the best non-holiday quarters in a decade off the back of the release of the massively popular Animal Crossing: New Horizons and people buying the Nintendo Switch to keep themselves busy during stay-at-home.
It's safe to say that compared to the same quarter in 2019, Nintendo's growth is nothing but crazy, posting net profits over 500% higher than the same time last year, and net sales just shy of 110% more than last year. And that's with a weaker yen, losing Nintendo 9.2 billion yen (US$87.1 million) in just currency conversion. Research and devolvement costs increased by 12% last quarter while advertising decreased by 18.6%, likely due to less first-party games going on sale and the lack of events Nintendo usually has a presence at.
In terms of Nintendo Switch sales, the Switch lite sold more units in the last three months than the standard Switch did during the same time frame last year, at 2.62 million units compared to 2.13 million units. The standard Switch sold 3.05 million units by itself, bringing the total sales of the console family up to 61.44 million units, just 500,000 units shy of the NES/Famicom. And this is with stock shortages of the Nintendo Switch around the world, including Japan where it is nearly impossible to buy a unit from a retailer.
The biggest seller over the last three months was Animal Crossing: New Horizons with 10.63 million copies sold from April to June, bring the total sales up to June 30 to 22.4 million copies, making it the second-best-selling Nintendo Switch game of all time, just under Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Famitsu reported that Animal Crossing had sold 5 million copies in Japan alone this year. Nintendo noted that over half of all new Nintendo Switch's bought from April to June played Animal Crossing on the first day of activation.
The grey areas are all Nintendo Switch software sold excluding Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the red is just Animal Crossing
Digital sales on Nintendo platforms saw a 229.9% increase over the same period as last year, making up "55.6% of total software sales." Of the total downloaded software sales, 67.7% is from digital versions of retail games, and the rest from indie games and DLC content, like the Pokémon Sword and Shield expansion pass.
Speaking of Pokémon, Sword and Shield's total sales has been updated to 18.22 million copies sold, making it the 5th highest selling game on the Nintendo Switch, and the third best selling mainline Pokémon game, overtaking Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and trailing behind Pokémon Gold and Silver and projected to overtake the second generation games in sales.
Sadly though, sales of Nintendo playing cards fell 37.3% compared to the last quarter, falling to 0.2 billion yen (US$1.9 million) of sales for the historic company that was built on a house of cards.
With the current situation looking like it'll be continuing into 2021, and Nintendo playing very coy with its future line-up of games (though Pikmin 3 Deluxe is coming in September!), it'll be interesting to see if Animal Crossing can keep sustaining Nintendo's growth over the next year.
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.