TOKYO (AP) – Japanese video game maker Nintendo’s profit fell 19% in the first half of its fiscal year, when it surged strongly as people stranded at home by the coronavirus pandemic turned to its products.
Nintendo Co. from Kyoto reported on Thursday profit of 171.8 billion yen ($ 1.5 billion) for the April-September period, up from 213 billion yen in the same period last year.
Sales of the financial half fell 19% to 624 billion yen ($ 5.5 billion). Quarterly figures are not provided.
Nintendo, which makes Super Mario and Pokemon games, was among the global companies receiving support from the pandemic by providing home entertainment.
This is why Nintendo achieved strong sales for its Animal Crossing: New Horizons game between April and September last year. That momentum was difficult to maintain this year, although the game was so popular that it also boosted sales of Nintendo Switch machines.
But the shortage of computer chips caused by the pandemic is hurting the production of these machines. Nintendo lowered its fiscal second half-year Switch hardware sales forecast by 1.5 million units to 24 million.
Year-end weekend is critical to Nintendo’s sales. To date, Nintendo has sold nearly 9.3 million Switch machines worldwide, including the Switch Lite version.
Overall, Nintendo’s downloadable software sales were mixed, while mobile sales didn’t grow as people continued to enjoy older versions, Nintendo said.
Several new games sold well, including The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, with 3.6 million units sold, and New Pokémon Snap, with 2.2 million units sold, according to Nintendo.
Nintendo said it is looking forward to working with US software company Niantic to develop a new smart device app called “Pikmin Bloom,” which has been rolling out gradually since last month.
“We will focus our efforts on encouraging more consumers to continue playing this app alongside others we have released earlier,” Nintendo said in a statement.
Pikmin are tiny creatures featured in games created by Nintendo star developer Shigeru Miyamoto. Niantic is best known for developing augmented reality mobile games like Pokemon Go.
Nintendo expects profit for the full fiscal year to March 2022 to be ¥ 350 billion ($ 3 billion), down 27% from the previous fiscal year.
Yuri Kageyama on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama