Nintendo has revealed its fourth quarter fiscal year 2021 financial results and the good news keeps on rolling in. For the entire 12 months of reporting (April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021) the company had net sales of 1758.9 billion yen, up 34.4% over the prior fiscal year. Operating profit saw a record high of 640.6 billion yen (up 81.8%), ordinary profit came in at 678.9 billion yen (up 88.4%), and net profit was 480.3 billion yen (up 85.7%). The below graph, courtesy of Daniel Ahmad, shows net sales and profit throughout the last couple of decades. Notice how the Switch era is rivaling, and even surpassing some years of the previous record breaking Wii/DS releases.
As has been the case in the past, once again the vast majority of Nintendo’s income was generated from its dedicated video game platform division, which saw a 35.6% increase year over year. Nintendo is keen to point out that while the Switch hardware and software are performing well worldwide, Australia and Asia regions are seeing strong growth. Smart device sales was pretty flat, but the royalty income increased and the playing cards division was the only sector to see a decline.
For the past few consecutive quarters Nintendo has been raising its forecast for net sales as well as Nintendo Switch software and hardware sold. Now that the final results have been tallied, Nintendo has once again over performed. Their forecasts for net sales went from 1400 billion yen to 1600 billion yen, when in reality they actually hit 1758.9 billion yen. Switch hardware went from 24 million to 26.5 million and the final result actually came in at 28.8 million sold for the year. When looking ahead for fiscal year 2022 (April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022), Nintendo predicts it will reach 1600 billion yen for net sales with 25.5 million Switch systems sold and 190 million pieces of software delivered. In other words, they expect to see a decline across the board for the next year, but time will tell if the pandemic continues to fuel the frenzy for video games like it did over the past year. Historically Nintendo plays it very conservative in their forecasts, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see them exceed these numbers assuming they have the supply chain in place and a steady flow of fantastic software.
As mentioned earlier, Switch console sales were very impressive for FY 2021 with 28.83 million sold, a 37.1% increase over the prior year. Of those sold, 20.32 million were Nintendo Switch consoles and 8.51 million were Nintendo Switch Lites. The company sold 230.88 million pieces of software, up 36.8% over the prior year. Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the real star of the show here with 20.85 million sold this fiscal year, bringing the total up to 32.63 million sold – and that’s just being on the market for about 1 year and 1 week. The Mario games that came out during the fiscal year performed well with 9.01 million copies of Super Mario 3D All-Stars and 5.59 million of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury selling. Nintendo revealed that in total there are 36 million-seller titles this fiscal year, 22 from Nintendo and 14 from third parties.
Digital sales continue to be on the rise. For the fiscal year Nintendo saw 344.1 billion yen worth of digital sales, up 68.5% over the prior year. 42.8% of total game sales were digital. Things like expansion passes, fighter passes, and Nintendo Switch Online helped contribute to the growth as well.
It’s always interesting to see which Nintendo first party games are selling well, and the company has provided an updated look at the titles they have developed that have sold over a million copies in the last fiscal year. The best selling game of the year was Animal Crossing: New Horizons with over 20 million sold during the 12 month period. Even though those sales are very impressive, it wasn’t quite enough to dethrone Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as the best selling game on the Switch with 35.39 million sold life-to-date. Other notable data points include: Zelda: Breath of the Wild now sits at 22.28 million sold, Ring Fit Adventure has cracked the 10 million mark, Pokémon Sword and Shield now sit over 20 million sold, and Super Mario Party continues to sell extremely well (no wonder it received a free update to add online play).
Here’s a look at how the Switch is stacking up to prior Nintendo systems in both hardware and software sold:
Nintendo’s FY 2021 is one for the record books with amazing results across the board. They have reported their highest operating income ever and demand for the Switch console and its games remains high across the world. Highly anticipated games like Metroid Prime 4, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, and Bayonetta 3 are still on the way sometime in the future, and that’s in addition to a plethora of releases already announced for this year. If supply doesn’t become a huge issue and Nintendo can maintain a string of compelling hits, FY 2022 is looking rather bright indeed!
FY 2021 Financial Statements
FY 2021 Explanatory Material