Today, Nintendo hosted their Financial Results Briefing for the last quarter of 2014 which ended March 2015. Good news! The company’s operating income is in the black (positive) for the first time in four fiscal years. Woo-hoo!
3DS game sales did quite well. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS sold 6.75 million copies between November and March alone. But that’s really nothing compared to the 9.94 million units of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire that were shipped within the same quarter. Wow.
Wii U sales are consistently on the rise as well. Nintendo’s financial briefing put a lot of the credit for the system’s grown specifically on Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Iwata mentions these two games specifically, as well as the companies’ continued DLC plans as reasons that gamers keep coming back for more:
“Specifically, I believe it was significant that Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U were released in the same year and that we have been able to maintain users’ active use of these titles months after their respective releases.
We are trying to motivate our consumers to continually play the games that they have purchased and are placing emphasis on the ability to keep a high replay value even after time has passed since their release by adding new functionalities via software updates or by digitally offering new add-on content such as new characters and new courses. This is an important effort for maintaining the performance and momentum of evergreen titles and further extending their lifespan.”
Iwata also mentioned that digital sales are on the rise. Nintendo is seeing roughly a 30% increase in digital sales year to year, with the trend seemingly to continue. Amiibo sales were also mentioned, and the U.S. are the big “winners” here.
Nintendo’s Amiibos, since their introduction alongside Super Smash Bros. in November, have gone on to ship 10.5 million units worldwide. An astounding 66% percent of those sales are the United States alone. Europe then accounts for 20%, Japan 11% and Australia 3%.
Nintendo’s financial briefing also brought additional news on their mobile gaming deal with DeNA. The company plans to release about five titles on smart devices through March 2017. You may think that’s a small number, but read Iwata’s reasoning before coming to your conclusion:
“Regarding the number of the titles, you may want to know that we will release approximately five titles by the end of the next fiscal year, which is the end of March 2017. You may think it is a small number, but when we aim to make each title a hit, and because we want to thoroughly operate every one of them for a significant amount of time after their releases, this is not a small number at all and should demonstrate our serious commitment to the smart device business.”
“Integrated Membership Service”
Perhaps one of the largest mysteries up Nintendo’s sleeve is their upcoming new membership services. They ended Club Nintendo as they plan to implement something more cohesive and collaborative in the near future. They plan to introduce their new service “at a later date”, they are willing to share their “high level idea”.
Nintendo plans to incorporate a new service that will allow all users to have one Nintendo ID. That one ID will then log them into all of Nintendo’s services. Whether that be smart phones, game systems or web pages, Nintendo plans to “offer advantages to consumers who use one ID across multiple devices.” Welcome to 2015, Nintendo.
Nintendo IPs at Universal Theme Parks
Finally, in what is the most shocking (but awesome) news coming from the Nintendo’s financial briefing, the company has reached an agreement in which they will bring their characters and IPs to Universal Parks & Resorts. We’ll end on this note, as Mr. Iwata explains in minimal detail how their agreement will work:
“Based on this agreement, the two companies will jointly create attractive experiences by using the characters and the worlds of Nintendo games that people cannot enjoy anywhere else. We will announce the details, including the specific period, which IP and how it will be used, at which park and the scale of the attractions, at some later date.”