Nintendo spent $527m on research & development last year

Nintendo spent half a billion dollars on research and development last fiscal year, helping grow the Switch, smartphone games, 3DS content and more.

2 minutes & 3 seconds read time

Nintendo today released its 2017 Annual Report that highlights financial earnings and other interesting data, including total research and development costs for last fiscal year.

Nintendo spent $527m on research & development last year 51

According to the report, Nintendo spent $527 million on research and development costs in Fiscal Year 2017 (April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017), down 13.06% year-over-year, for both hardware and software endeavors across its entire platform ecosystem. The Kyoto-based console-maker notes that this R&D spend was used to help launch the new Nintendo Switch handheld-console hybrid along with a library of titles including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as well as a number of accessories and peripherals.

This investment also brought 14 Nintendo 3DS games to market, including Pokemon Sun and Moon and Super Mario Maker, along with a number of new 3DS hardware variants. The company even confirmed a new Quality-of-Live (QoL) device is in the works.

To get a better idea of how much Nintendo typically spends on research and development, I took a look at previous annual reports and compared Nintendo's R&D spend over the last six fiscal years. You can find the data below, along with a breakdown of R&D spend for this six-year period, and a quick bullet list of the things Nintendo just spend $527 million to make.

Nintendo spent $527m on research & development last year 789

Nintendo spent $527 million in R&D on the following:

  • Nintendo Switch games and hardware - Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2 Switch, JoyCons/Switch Pro Controller, etc
  • Smartphone games - Miitomo, Super Mario Maker, Fire Emblem Heroes
  • New 3DS games and hardware
  • Nintendo Account and My Nintendo infrastructure
  • New Amiibo
  • NES Classic Edition
  • New QoL device
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Six Years of Nintendo Research and Development Spend

  • FY17 - ¥59.1 billion (U.S. $527 million), -13.06% YoY
  • FY16 - ¥69.0 billion (U.S. $610 million), +13.06% YoY
  • FY15 - ¥63.3 billion (U.S. $527 million), -24.28% YoY
  • FY14 - ¥71.7 billion (U.S. $696 million), +22.53% YoY
  • FY13 - ¥53.4 billion (U.S. $568 million), -11.52% YoY
  • FY12 - ¥52.76 billion (U.S. $642 million)

For more metrics and data be sure to check over our huge Nintendo Annual Report 2017 breakdown -- it outlines the current state of Nintendo, and signals a big comeback for the House of Mario.


Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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