Today, the Nintendo financial results for the Fiscal Year 2016 were revealed, and unfortunately, they’re much better than in previous years. While the company is still technically in the black, sales are down Year on Year. The good news is, the drop is quite limited this time around, and with the incredible success of the Nintendo Switch, it’s most likely the last time they’re down.
Nintendo Financial Results – Raw Data
Let’s start with some raw data:
- Net Sales: 489 095 million Yen (4.033 billion € / 4.401 billion $ / 3.429 billion £), a drop of 3% over the same period last year (504 459 million Yen);
- Operating profit: 29 362 million Yen (241 million € / 263 million $ / 205 million £), a drop of 10.7% over the same period last year (32 881 million Yen);
- Ordinary profit: 50 364 million Yen (414 million € / 452 million $ / 352 million £), an increase of 74.9% over the same period last year (28 790 million Yen);
- Profit attributable to owners of parent: 102 574 million Yen (844 million € / 921 million $ / 718 million £), an increase of 521.5% over the same period last year (40 558 million Yen)
- Digital sales: 32.5 billion Yen (as opposed to 43.9 billion Yen during the same period last year).
The graph shows the proportion of Software / Hardware / Other (accesories, amiibo) in sales, but also the geographical breakdown of sales. While sales are down in Japan and North America, they’re slightly up in Europe and Others. We can also see that revenue generated by games on smart devices and IPs has increased, it’s still nowhere what the dedicated gaming platforms are generating.
And again, the majority of sales come from outside Japan, which is a pretty healthy sign.
Difference with forecast
The graph below shows the difference between the final results and Nintendo’s (already revised) forescast:
Nintendo explains that Operating profit ended up above their expectations due to them shipping more Nintendo Switch units than scheduled (2.74 million units instead of 2 million units initially). What’s more, lower-than-expected advertising expenses also helped.
As for Ordinary profit, the main reason for the increase are the smaller foreign exchange losses, due to the greater depreciation of the Yen against the US dollar (quite important, as most of Nintendo sales come from outside Japan).
Nintendo Financial Results – Hardware / Software Sales
- Nintendo 3DS: 7.27 million units for Fiscal Year 2016 / 66.12 million units since launch;
- Nintendo 3DS (Software): 55.07 million units for Fiscal Year 2016 (145 new games launched) / 329.25 million units since launch (1 550 games launched)
- Wii U: 760 000 units for Fiscal Year 2016 / 13.56 million units since launch
- Wii U (Software): 14.8 million units for Fiscal Year 2016 (40 new games launched) / 98.85 million units since launch (432 games launched)
- Nintendo Switch: 2.74 million units for Fiscal Year 2016 (basically, March 3rd to March 31st)
- Nintendo Switch: 5.46 million units for Fiscal Year 2016 (basically, March 3rd to March 31st)
Here’s some details about Nintendo 3DS sales (data in parenthesis is for January – March):
- Nintendo 3DS XL – 19 640 000 [NB: this model has been discontinued in Japan and North America]
- New Nintendo 3DS XL – 10 320 000 9 820 000 (+ 500 000 units)
- Nintendo 2DS – 7 420 000 (+ 320 000 units)
- New Nintendo 3DS – 2,490,000 units
Nintendo Financial Results – Nintendo comments
For Fiscal Year 2016, Nintendo mentions the Nintendo Switch, which is off to a “promising” start. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the most popular title with 2.76 million units sold (more than the console itself!). With the Wii U version, the game has sold over 3.84 million units worldwide (which gives 1.08 million units for the Wii U version).
As for 1-2-Switch, Nintendo explains that it has been “generating buzz”, but apparently not enough to sell 1 million units. Nintendo Switch sales topped 2.74 million units for Hardware, and 5.46 million units for Software.
The Nintendo 3DS sales grew “favorably” according to Nintendo, and no doubt Pokémon Sun and Moon is one of the reasons for that. After all, both versions have sold over 15.44 million units combined. Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS and Kirby: Planet Robobot was also pretty successful with 2.34 million units and 1.36 million units sold respectively.
Naturally, Pokémon GO had an extremely positive impact on both Nintendo 3DS Hardware sales and Pokémon Sun and Moon sales. During the Fiscal Year, Nintendo 3DS sales topped 7.27 million units (+7% Year on Year) for Hardware, and 55.08 million units for Software (+14% Year on Year).
On Wii U, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild did manage to sell over 1.08 million units, but it wasn’t enough to compensate for a full year with almost nothing releasing. As a result, Hardware sales dropped to 760 000 units (-77%, within expectations), and Software sales to 14.8 million units (-46% Year on Year).
On the smart device front, Nintendo mentions Super Mario Run (which has “elicited a fantastic response from consumers worldwide”), and Fire Emblem heroes (enjoyed both by long-time fans and newcomers).
Nintendo also mentions the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System, but doesn’t share any sales data. As for amiibo sales, they remain limited to 9.1 million units (figure-type) and 9.3 million units (card-type), despite the release of new games with amiibo compatibility. Finally, digital sales are also down due to fewer offerings of DLC during the past Fiscal Year.
Finally, Nintendo explains 50.3 billion yen share of profit related to The Pokémon Company (and other investments) were included in the results, which resulted in an ordinary profit of 20.2 billion Yen. The sales of the company’s part in the Seattle Mariners led 64.5 billion Yen of extraordinary income, boosting the net profit attributable to owners of parent to 102.5 billion Yen.
Nintendo Financial Results – Forecast
For the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo plans to “maintain buzz” about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 1-2-Switch, while releasing new titles such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (April 28th), ARMS (June 16th), and Splatoon 2 (July 21st).
For Nintendo, Splatoon 2 “exemplifies the concept of Nintendo Switch, enabling consumers to play anywhere, anytime, and with anyone, and will bring competition between consumers to new levels of excitement”.
Nintendo also aims at providing a “continuous stream of appealing third-party titles across varying genres”, and “stimulate the platform and expand sales going into the holiday season this year”. In other words, the company is going to make sure there’s a steady flow of new releases through the year (and beyond).
The Nintendo 3DS has already sold over 66 million units, and so Nintendo is going to rely on it for Software sales. They have several key titles lined-up: Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (May 19th in Europe and North America), Ever Oasis (June 23rd in Europe/North America, and July 13th in Japan), and Hey! Pikmin (Jule 13th in Japan, and July 28th in Europe/North America).
Quite interestingly, Nintendo also mentions the Kirby 25th Anniversary, with new downloadable titles (Team Kirby Clash Deluxe and Kirby’s Blowout Blast) and the new multiplayer action game slated for this Winter. Nintendo’s goal is to “maintain momentum” and reach a broader audience across the world (children, women).
On the mobile front, the three mobile games released so far have allowed players who had never played Nintendo games before, and live in regions where Nintendo games and consoles are usually not released, to experience Nintendo’s IPs. Going forward, Nintendo is planning to make use of the experience gained while launching those three games when releasing new games. Naturally, they will keep on supporting those already released with new content, too.
Nintendo Financial Results – New Forecast
Here’s the new forescast, for FY 2017-18:
- Net sales: 750 billion Yen (+ 260 billion Yen compared to FY 2016-17)
- Operating profit: 65 billion Yen (+36 billion Yen compared to FY 2016-17)
- Ordinary profit: 60 billion Yen (+10 billion Yen compared to FY 2016-17)
- Net profit attributable to owners of parent: 45 billion Yen (-57 billion Yen compared to FY 2016-17)
As for Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch:
- Nintendo 3DS: 6 million units
- Nintendo 3DS Software: 40 million units
- Wii U: discontinued
- Wii U Software: 300 000 units
- Nintendo Switch: 10 million units
- Nintendo Switch Software: 35 million units