Nintendo's digital earnings surge thanks to COVID-19 quarantines and record-breaking game sales across its Switch platform.
Digital gaming has surged as worldwide countries sheltered in place against the coronavirus pandemic. Nintendo in particular saw a boom in digital games earnings; Nintendo generated a whopping $3.2 billion from digital game sales, subscriptions, DLC, and microtransactions on the eShop in FY2021, up nearly 70% from last year.
Nintendo sold 230.88 million Switch games in FY2021, a new yearly record with every quarter consecutively setting new all-time highs. 42.8% of total game sales were digital, or 98.81 million, a new high point. Nintendo says that nearly 80% of game sales were first-party titles, or roughly 183 million games.
Nintendo currently has 10 best-selling first-party Switch games that have all broken 10 million copies each--some, like Mario Kart 8 and Animal Crossing New Horizons, are at 30 million+.
Despite the strong spike in digital revenues, digital game sales only accounted for ~20% of Nintendo's total game segment earnings of $16 billion.
Hardware is likewise up to new record highs. The Switch has currently shipped 84.59 million units worldwide, and it moved over 28 million consoles in FY2021. Hardware generated a staggering $8.2 billion in revenues throughout the year as every Switch model sold for a profit.
Turning to our digital business for dedicated video game platforms, sales were strong for downloadable versions of packaged software for Nintendo Switch. Sales also grew for add-on content, including Pokemon Sword Expansion Pass, Pokemon Shield Expansion Pass, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass Vol. 2. In addition, sales of download-only titles and sales related to Nintendo Switch Online were also steady, helping to bring digital sales to 344.1 billion yen (an increase of 68.5% year-on-year).
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