Nintendo smashes Switch sales forecast as Animal Crossing sales top 13 million

FILE PHOTO: A Nintendo Switch game console is pictured at the Paris Games Week (PGW), a trade fair for video games in Paris, France, October 29, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nintendo Co Ltd said on Thursday it sold 21 million Switch units in the year ended March, smashing its forecast of 19.5 million units, with hit title Animal Crossing: New Horizons shifting 13.4 million units in its first six weeks.

The Kyoto-based gaming company posted a 200% jump in operating profit in the January-March quarter to 89.4 billion yen according to Reuters’ calculations, well above analyst estimates.

Nintendo has defied scepticism over its ability to draw in consumers beyond a hardcore base in the Switch’s fourth year with the runaway success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which went on sale on March 20.

The appeal of the title among consumers looking for escapism in coronavirus-hit economies around the world underscores Nintendo’s games-maker credentials at a time when investors have been frustrated by the company’s conservative management, which includes what many regard as a half-baked foray into mobile gaming.

Nintendo said it expects to sell 19 million Switch console units in the current financial year.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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