Nintendo profit zooms as virus has homebodies playing games

TOKYO (AP) — Nintendo Co’s profit multiplied more than sixfold in April-June as people stuck at home during the pandemic turned to playing video games.

The Japanese manufacturer of Pokemon and Super Mario games, as well as the Switch console, reported yesterday a profit of JPY106.4 billion (USD1 billion) in the fiscal first quarter, up from JPY16.6 billion last year.

Quarterly sales at Kyoto-based Nintendo jumped, doubling to JPY358 billion (USD3.4 billion) on-year.

Especially popular was Animal Crossing: New Horizons, of which 10 million were sold during the three months, reaching cumulative sales of 20 million. Also popular was Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Ring Fit Adventure, which has players exercising while jogging in place holding a ring that works as controller, was also a hit. It has already sold four million units since going on sale last October.

A Nintendo sign is seen at the company’s official store in the Shibuya district of Tokyo on January 23. PHOTO: AP

Nintendo Switch sales, both of the handheld machines and software games, were zooming amid the pandemic.

Nintendo said various online games in its lineup, including those for mobile devices, were also drawing more people.

Although the coronavirus outbreak has swamped economies in the worst contraction since the Great Depression, some businesses like Nintendo are thriving.

Japanese and electronic and entertainment conglomerate Sony Corp, which also has a game unit with its PlayStation series, also reported positive results earlier this week.

Other technology companies, such as Apple and Facebook, are reaping the benefits of people turning in droves to online activities.