Nintendo made $3.2 billion from digital games in FY2021, up 68% YoY

Nintendo's digital game sales skyrocket as consumers sheltered in place from the coronavirus pandemic, sales up nearly 70% YoY.

Published Thu, May 6 2021 5:11 PM CDT   |   Updated Wed, Jun 2 2021 2:35 AM CDT

Nintendo's digital earnings surge thanks to COVID-19 quarantines and record-breaking game sales across its Switch platform.

Nintendo made $3.2 billion from digital games in FY2021, up 68% YoY 53 |

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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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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