Over this period from April 1 to December 31, 2020, Nintendo distributed 24.1 million Switch (including 7.33 million Switch Lite) and 176.1 million games, up 35.8% and 43% respectively compared to last year. The firm also recorded strong growth in its digital turnover (sales of games, additional content, Nintendo Switch subscriptions, etc.), which reached 2 billion euros (+ 104.9%). The proportion of games sold digitally on Switch is 40.9%, compared to 28.6% a year earlier.
As always, the manufacturer shone during the holiday season, a crucial period. 11.57 million Switch were sold between October and December, more than in 2019 in the same quarter (10.81 million), which benefited from the release of Pokémon Sword / Shield.
These results are reflected in an explosion of profits: with 4.1 billion euros in operating profit and 2.9 billion euros in net profit, Nintendo has the best year in its history in this area. The previously set sales targets having been reached, the firm now expects 26.5 million Switches and 205 million games sold between April 2020 and March 2021.
Since the launch of the console in March 2017, 79.87 million Switches (including 13.53 million Switch Lite) have been distributed worldwide, for 523.34 million games sold. The Nintendo 3DS (75.94 million sales) is officially outdated, while the Game Boy Advance is not far behind (81.51 million). Among Nintendo consoles, the Wii (101.63 million), the Game Boy (118.69 million) and the Nintendo DS (154.02 million) are ahead.
|Period||Turnover||Operational profit||Net profit|
|April to December 2020||11 billion euros (+ 37.3%)||€ 4.1 billion (+ 98.2%)||2.9 billion euros (+ 91.8%)|
|April to December 2019||8 billion euros||2 billion euros||1.5 billion euros|
The numbers are also giddy when you look more closely at game sales. The Switch has 29 games (including nine from third-party publishers) with more than one million copies sold between April and December 2020. In the lead, Animal Crossing: New Horizons (19.41 million), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (8.64 million), Super Mario 3D All-Stars (8.32 million) and Ring Fit Adventure (5.95 million). Over this period, 81.6% of Switch games sold were Nintendo games.
The tireless Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which still serves as a base purchase for new owners of a Switch, has just completed the best quarter of its career (4.42 million sales) and remains the biggest success of the console, in front of Animal Crossing New Horizons. They have both passed the 30 million sales mark, while Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Pokémon Sword / Shield and Super Mario Odyssey are now above 20 million. Regarding Pokémon Sword / Shield, this is a first for the license since Pokémon Gold / Silver on Game Boy.
The last few months have seen the release of three new “million sellers”: Hyrule Warriors: Era of the Scourge (2.84 million, not including sales in Japan, where it is edited by Koei Tecmo), Pikmin 3 Deluxe (1 , 94 million, already the best-selling series) and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (1.08 million). To end the fiscal year on a high note, the Switch will again host a few exclusives with Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (February 12) and Monster Hunter Rise (March 26), which will each be accompanied by a limited edition console, and Bravely Default II (February 26). Apart from New Pokémon Snap (April 30), the program for the rest of the year 2021, marked by the 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda (February 21 to be precise) is still unclear.
The biggest “first-party” successes of the Switch upto December 31, 2020
- 1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – 33,41 millions (+4,42 millions)
- 2. Animal Crossing : New Horizons – 31,18 millions (+5,14 millions)
- 3. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – 22,85 millions (+1,75 million)
- 4. The Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild – 21,45 millions (+1,71 million)
- 5. Pokémon Sword / Shield – 20.35 million (+1.33 million)
- 6. Super Mario Odyssey – 20,23 millions (+1,24 million)
- 7. Super Mario Party – 13,82 millions (+1,72 million)
- 8. Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu / Évoli – 13 millions (+510 000)
- 9. Splatoon 2 – 11.90 million (+630,000)
- 10. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe – 9,82 millions (+1,5 million)
Out of top 10
- Luigi’s Mansion 3 : 9,13 millions
- Ring Fit Adventure : 8,68 millions
- Super Mario 3D All-Stars : 8,32 millions
- Super Mario Maker 2 : 6,91 millions
- Paper Mario : The Origami King : 3,05 millions
- Hyrule Warriors: Age of the Scourge: 2.84 million (sales in Japan not counted)
- 51 Worldwide Games : 2,62 millions
- Pikmin 3 Deluxe : 1,94 million
- Xenoblade Chronicles : Definitive Edition : 1,48 million
- Mario Kart Live : Home Circuit : 1,08 million
Both physical distribution (including bundles) and digital sales are accounted for. The number of sales during the last quarter (October-December 2020) is indicated in brackets. The list is not exhaustive, other games have exceeded one million sales (Yoshi’s Crafted World, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Astral Chain …), but they are not mentioned in Nintendo’s balance sheet.
Brent Dubin, known as the Gaming Giant among Globe Live Media staff, is the chief Gaming Reporter for Globe Live Media. Having attended all the major events of Gaming around the World, he is sure to give you exactly the update related to gaming World you are looking for.