Through the challenges of the global pandemic, Nintendo have enjoyed great sales and one of the biggest game launches in their history in the first quarter of 2020. Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold 11.77 million copies before the end of the quarter on 31st March, the best opening sales for a Switch game yet, but that extended further through its first six weeks on sale to 13.41 million copies.
That makes it the best selling game in the Animal Crossing series, eclipsing the 12.45 million copies of Animal Crossing: New Leaf on Nintendo 3DS and 11.75 million copies of Animal Crossing: Wild World on Nintendo DS.
It’s not just the game that’s flying off the shelves, but the console as well. Even with Nintendo struggling at times to keep Switch production on track and the console in stock – the impact has not been that big, they note – they sold 3.29 million Switch consoles in this year’s first three months, which is big 33% jump over the same time last year. This puts console lifetime sales at 55.77 million.
Speaking of the challenges of Covid-19, Nintendo addressed these potential concerns, saying that “delays in production and shipping are gradually recovering,” but that further issues could arise – exchange rates can and will fluctuate, for example. Beyond the nuts and bolts of console manufacturing, “development schedules may be impacted due to the difference in development environments between working from home and in the office.”
The is company starting a new financial year with a particularly challenging world picture, but Nintendo are relatively positive with plans for Xenoblade Definitive Edition in May, The Isle of Armor DLC for Pokémon Sword and Shield in June, and plenty more. They also forecast 19 million Switch sales from April 2020 to the end of March 2021. That’s a slide from the 21 million sold in 2019-20, but that target was reached through exceeding a 19.5 million forecast for the year, so should still a big year for the console.