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Nintendo’s mobile and IP sales are up 93.4%

Nintendo reveals $9.38 billion earned in total sales across the first three quarters of its financial year
Nintendo’s mobile and IP sales are up 93.4%
Date Type Companies Involved Key Datapoint
Feb 6, 2024 report Nintendo $9.38 billion in sales
  • Nintendo's financial report reveals mobile and IP sales rise as Switch sales fall
  • Operating profit in the nine months up to December 31, 2023 were up to $3.12 billion
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Nintendo has released its latest financials covering the nine-month period up to December 31, 2023, revealing the year’s biggest Switch successes, rising profits, and a mighty 93.4% year-on-year sales rise in "mobile and IP related business".

The Japanese giant also used its financial statement to reaffirm its vision to see multiple Switch consoles in every home and maximise hardware sales, at a time when the company’s mobile downloads have exceeded its console sales across all platforms.

Between the lines

Nintendo’s consolidated sales total across mobile and other IP-based ventures somewhat muddies perception of just how well its mobile catalogue performed over the first three quarters of its financial year, especially with The Super Mario Bros Movie’s success bound to represent a hefty chunk of the sales reported.

In total, mobile and IP-related sales reached ¥75.2 billion ($505.6 million) across the three quarters, marking the aforementioned 93.4% year-on-year rise. Nintendo states this was "bolstered mainly by the generation of revenue related to The Super Mario Bros Movie".

Notably, the company’s mobile and IP category generated ¥31.8 billion ($223 million) in Q1, covering April to June of 2023, when the film was in cinemas. Naturally, this means that the remaining ¥43.4 billion ($292 million) was generated across quarters two and three, after The Super Mario Bros Movie’s box office run; and, while some proportion of that sum will have come from streams and purchases of the film, it isn’t too great a stretch to speculate that a larger percentage came from mobile revenue later in the year.

Entering the endgame

At the same time, by the end of 2023 Nintendo’s mobile offerings had waned compared to prior years. Dr. Mario World has long since shut down, Super Mario Run has only received the most infrequent of updates, and Mario Kart Tour is officially getting no more new content. The company’s original mobile IP Dragalia Lost closed down just over a year ago too.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes are among the few remaining bastions of Nintendo’s active mobile portfolio, therefore, and while the latter offers plenty of cause for celebration, Nintendo’s overall enthusiasm for mobile does appear to be down.

Meanwhile, Switch sales are slowly declining too, down 7.8% through the first three quarters of the console’s seventh year on the market. This decline has actually been slower than Nintendo anticipated, and the company has therefore re-estimated its total Switch sales for the full year to 15.5 million.

Switch software sales fell by 4.8% despite the highly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom finally launching in 2023. The game has sold 20.28 million copies so far, and with a Zelda movie in the works, the gaming landscape looks increasingly ready for a mobile Zelda game, whether or not Nintendo will take that route.

Even so, the first three quarters of Nintendo’s fiscal year saw a meteoric ¥1,394.7 billion ($9.38 billion) generated through sales with ¥1,097.5 billion ($7.38 billion) of that coming from outside Japan. Operating profits were ¥464.41 billion ($3.12 billion) in the nine months up to the end of 2023, a rise from ¥410.54 billion ($2.76 billion) across the same period in 2022.

The decline in Switch sales, despite surpassing Nintendo’s expectations, is bound to fuel further theories about the Switch’s successor in the near future; video games commerce company Xsolla already anticipates the next generation will prove "instrumental" in driving the expansion of the games market.