Sales of amiibo lift Nintendo’s first-quarter earnings

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nintendo Ekes Out $9M Profit As Wii U Sales Cross 10M To Date.

Nintendo returned a profit over its April to June quarter in part thanks to a super-popular shoot-em-up online game in which players squirt ink to claim rivals’ territory.May to June are not the months in which a video game company’s fortunes are won or lost but it’s still good news for Nintendo anyway, as they managed to do better than most market analysts thought they would.The Kyoto-based videogame powerhouse is trying to prop up its business, traditionally centered around console-based videogames, and meet the challenge from free-to-play games available on iPhones and Android devices.

It’s earnings day at Nintendo, and the Japanese company surprised watchers by eking out a unexpected, and albeit meagre, $8.9 million profit for its most recent quarter of business. The Japanese game company announced a net income of 8.3 billion yen ($67 million) for the three months leading up to June 30, a turnaround from a loss of 9.9 billion yen year-over-year. Nintendo sold less than half a million Wii U consoles these past three months, but, nevertheless, that was enough to push the near-three-year-old device’s total sales to date past the 10 million mark. Sony notched that very figure for the PlayStation 4 in just nine months, which shows the gulf between Nintendo, a beloved company among the gaming community, and the leaders in the consumer console space. That said, considering its slow sales, Nintendo gamers sure are loyal customers — the average Wii U owner has six games and collectively they purchased over 4.5 million titles for the Wii U in the last quarter.

Nintendo, which earlier this struck an historic agreement with DeNA to produce mobile games, is sticking to its guns and its original $400 million profit forecast for this financial year. Given the modest start from this quarter and that fact that its mobile games aren’t likely to drop until sometime in 2016, it’s hard to see the company realizing its projection with nothing major in the new release pipeline.

Other factors for the company’s success last quarter include strong sales of its Amiibo interactive figurines — the company has sold 14.7 million units since their introduction in the middle of last year — and the depreciation of the yen, which contributed foreign exchange gains totaling 10.8 billion yen. There was no mention of the Wii U’s eventual replacement, currently codenamed NX, but the company did briefly refer to its mobile plans, which are due to start later this year. ‘We expect to secure a new source of revenue from a gaming application for smart devices, which will be released by the end of this calendar year,’ read the statement.

The company recently announced it’s working on smartphone games; it’s also developing a new console codenamed “NX.” All this comes after the recent death of company president Satoru Iwata and speculation on his successor. Especially now that they’re finally ready to release the standalone amiibo reader for the non-New 3DS family of consoles, with the peripheral due to launch alongside Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer on October 2.

Nintendo’s other representative director is Shigeru Miyamoto, the 62-year-old father of many popular game characters, including Donkey Kong and Mario. A Square Enix Co. game creator said Tuesday at a news conference that the company plans to release its blockbuster role-playing game Dragon Quest for NX.

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