Nintendo seems to be doing well coming off of their recent Pokémon Direct, E3 announcements, and SNES Classic announcement. Their stock is doing well in Japan, soaring to record highs (it is down 2% as of this writing), up 40% over the last 3 months, and up over 150% from last year prior to Pokemon Go’s launch/spike/dip.
Cash-flow is good, and they have reserve $$$ in the bank of over 1 trillion yen (about $8.8 Billion US dollars). (Yes, that’s Billion with a “B”!) When asked what they were going to do with that kind of cash balance in a recent shareholders meeting, Kimishima, Nintendo’s CEO, responded,
There have been technical innovations lately that we need to invest into. We are developing future hardware and software, our IP, mobile, video content, etc. We need to hoard for these investments. And our business experiences high and low cycles and need to be prepared. We give back to shareholders with dividends; M&As are also a possibility. (Source: gonintendo.com )
Money is coming in from their mobile division. Pokémon Go is doing well with its recent Gym Raid update (see our 1st impressions here.) Even though Mario Run wasn’t the huge financial success that Nintendo may have hoped for, much like Pokémon before it, Nintendo can probably point to improved sales of back Mario titles and say that it has brought attention back to the franchise. This should continue to profit the company as we head towards an October release for Super Mario Odyssey. Fire Emblem, with its pay to play monetization is bringing in plenty of money and is continuing to grow in success in regions outside of Japan. (Nintendo has yet to announce its plans for an Animal Crossing mobile game and maybe even one more unannounced title for 2017.)
Recent announcements at the shareholders meeting were also made that Star Fox, Yoshi, and Pikmin Anime are in the works (source shacknews) pointing to the “Video” comment made above. This along with the reminder of the partnership with Universal Studios for “Super Nintendo World” attractions, all strengthen the Nintendo brand. (This is coming to Universal Japan sometime before the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in 2020 and soon there-after in the US.)
The announcement came out this week that sales of the Switch surpassed 1 million units in Japan, selling faster than the PS4 during its first several months after release (source destructoid.com). Though sales numbers have not been shared in other regions, we know by scarcity of the Switch on retail shelves that it is selling extremely well.
Weekly, I like to look at GameStop’s “coming soon” list on my mobile app. I do it mainly to make sure something hasn’t come up on pre-order with the company that might be a limited release and need to be added to my collection. The list is automatically ranked by best sellers when you go into the search for up and coming titles, accessories, and consoles. But, as I have checked over the last couple of weeks, I have been noticing a very interesting trend.
Nintendo products seem to be dominating the charts. Whether you agree with their methods or not, recently the top items have been pre-orders for Switch Bundles. But aside from that (and with no Switch bundles in the top 10 as of today), Nintendo has quite the showing:
1) Mario + Rabids Kingdom Battle C.E. -Switch
2) Metroid – Samus Returns S.E.- 3DS
3) New Nintendo 2DS XL – Black and Turquois
4) Super Mario Odyssey Wedding Outfit amiibo 3-pack
5) Pokemon Tournament DX – Switch
6) Destiny 2 – PS4
7) Splatoon 2- Switch
8) NBA 2K18 Early Tip-Off Editon – PS4
9) Call of Duty WWII – PS4
10) Fire Emblem Chrom amiibo figure
11) Super Mario Odyssey – Switch (# 11 thrown in for good measure, this will only climb as we get closer to the October 27th release)
No doubt the Crash Insane Trilogy on the PS4 would be on this list if it hadn’t come out this week, but this is still amazing. Nintendo has solid 1st party and 3rd party confirmed release date titles coming for the balance of the year on Switch and 3DS.
You could ask the question “Does this list read this way because Nintendo fans are still buying physical copies of games when other console owners are moving to digital downloads?” Perhaps, but this still bodes well for the big “N”, retailers that support Nintendo, and 3rd party developers that have jumped on board quickly for the Switch. (Maybe GameStop’s CEO was right to tout his excitement behind the release of the Nintendo Switch back in March as a potential boon for his company.)
We also had some insight from a recent interview with Douglas Bogart at Limited Run Games who told us that Nintendo hasn’t been able to support physical releases of smaller print runs of Switch games in 2017 (like the ones they offer at Limited Run), because Nintendo has seen such tremendous success on many of their launch titles. They are having to go back and reprint multiple copies of games like, “The Binding of Isaac”, “Mario Kart Deluxe”, and “Breath of the Wild”, and soon “Cave Story +” that are selling very well and retailers are asking for more inventory. People love having console experience titles to play at home and on the go. Nintendo nailed the concept and delivered.
Now, we just need the big 3rd party guys to get on board with the Switch and we need Nintendo to put its virtual console and on-line plans in place, and it will be a 3-way race again. This is a great thing for gamers and for the entire video game industry.
Agree, disagree? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Sources: gonintendo.com, cvxfreak, NStyles, GameStop.com, Douglas Bogart @LimitedRunGames, Destructoid.com, @shacknews