Switch software sales up over 40% from last year

Pokémon Sword and Shield debut sales record Japan 1.36 million

While 2020 is still going on for us humans, Nintendo recently wrapped up its financial year on March 31. Today is the release of the big investor’s report (delayed a month due to the COVID-19 crisis), and it looks like FY20 was pretty good for the Big N’s numbers. With individual games reaching impressive milestones and hardware doing very well, perhaps the biggest winner was Switch software. Between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, Nintendo sold 168.72 million pieces of software. Compared to the previous year’s 118.55 million units, it’s an increase of a whopping 42.3%.

Part of this is thanks to the release of two massive blockbuster titles in FY20. Pokémon Sword and Shield sold 17.37 million units since their launch in mid-November. Likewise, Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold 11.77 million units in the first 11 days of its existence (and about 2 million more since then). That’s not to mention the other big Switch software releases, like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black OrderLuigi’s Mansion 3, Super Mario Maker 2, and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX. Even older software is doing splendidly. The report specifically mentions that Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — released in 2017 (FY18) — sold 8.08 million copies in FY20.

Nintendo has been on a hot streak with the Switch since the system’s launch in 2017. It’s proven to be a serious contender in the video game console market, and first-party titles, as well as second-party exclusives and impressive third-party ports make Switch software a massive boon for the company. When you take into account mobile revenue, IP expansions which pair up the Super Mario franchise with companies like LEGO and Levi’s, and even upcoming DLC for Pokémon Sword and Shield and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it looks like FY21 will be another good year for Nintendo. Provided sales remain strong and manufacturing keeps up through the global COVID-19 crisis, of course.


Dominick Ashtear