Nintendo Sees Boost in Sales Thanks to Strong Software Performance

'Link's Awakening' Still - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Nintendo

Eleven titles on the Switch family of consoles have sold more than 1 million copies in 2019.

The release of new hardware and well-performing software has buoyed Nintendo's net sales for the first half of 2019 to 443.9 billion yen ($4.1 billion), up more than 14 percent year-over-year from 388.9 billion yen ($3.5 billion). Profit per share, however, was down from 537.6 million yen ($4.9 million) in 2018 to 520.6 million yen ($4.8 million).

Nintendo's recent first-party exclusive releases have performed well. Super Mario Maker 2, released in June, has sold 3.9 million units, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, launched in July, sold 2.3 million units and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, released in September, sold 3.1 million units.

Meanwhile, an increased emphasis on offering third-party titles on its platform has paid off for the company, as 11 games have sold over a million copies on Switch consoles during this fiscal year, leading to a total of 58.5 million software units sold worldwide, a nearly 39 percent increase year-over-year. 

The boost in software sales has also helped give Nintendo's hardware a bump. The company has sold 6.9 million hardware units across its family of consoles (which includes the Nintendo Switch, newly released Switch Lite and Nintendo 3DS), leading to a 36 percent year-over-year increase.

Meanwhile, Nintendo's digital business has grown substantially in 2019, thanks to digital sales of titles on its platforms and digital-only options through its Nintendo Switch Online service. Overall digital sales this year have increased to 71.6 billion yen ($662.6 million), an 83 percent increase year-over-year.

The company's fledgling mobile games business, which now boasts six titles over the past three years, hit 19.9 billion yen ($184.1 million) in 2019, a 6.4 percent increase over the same period in 2018. The company launched two mobile games in September, Dr. Mario World and Mario Kart Tour, the latter of which was Nintendo's biggest mobile launch for downloads with 129 million installs.

The remainder of the year (including October, which was not included in the first-half report), will see a number of other software releases for Nintendo. October saw the launch of the fitness oriented peripheral-game tie-in Ring Fit Adventure and family-friendly Luigi's Mansion 3, while November has Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield slated for release and next March will see Animal Crossing: New Horizons bow on the Switch.