After the triumph of Animal Crossing, a skinny pipeline for Nintendo

TOKYO (Reuters) – The runaway success of Nintendo Co Ltd’s (7974.T) island life simulator Animal Crossing: New Horizons has overshadowed an uncomfortable reality for followers of the Swap console – it lacks upcoming titles.

FILE PHOTO: The emblem of the Nintendo is displayed at Nintendo Tokyo, Nintendo’s first official retailer in Japan, at SHIBUYA PARCO division retailer and shopping center complicated, Nov. 19, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Picture

Nintendo on Thursday mentioned Animal Crossing, which has change into an escapist hit for gamers locked down by the coronavirus, is one among 27th Swap titles to shift greater than one million copies, following video games populated with characters corresponding to Italian plumber Mario and sword-wielding fighter Hyperlink.

However the Japanese firm’s present video games slate is marked by an absence of blockbuster names, with Nintendo on Thursday pointing to updates and expansions to titles already available on the market like Tremendous Smash Bros.

Rival Sony Corp (6758.T) has already been compelled to announce delays to main titles corresponding to The Final Of Us Half II because the coronavirus impacts manufacturing. Nintendo, which is historically tight-lipped about releases, has kept away from outlining upcoming titles for the reason that begin of the outbreak.

“The slate is totally empty,” mentioned Serkan Toto, founding father of recreation business consultancy Kantan Video games. “The COVID-19 scenario simply will increase Nintendo’s conservative stance with regards to saying video games.”

Nintendo mentioned on Thursday it sees a fall in software program gross sales to 140 million models within the present monetary yr, whilst Animal Crossing proves a runaway success, promoting greater than 13 million models in its first six weeks.

The corporate’s shares fell 3.5% in early buying and selling in Tokyo on Friday, in contrast with a 1% rise within the benchmark index .N255.

The Swap system’s rising again catalogue contains titles, like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, with a devoted fan base and an extended shelf life than video games on different techniques.

As a result of customers will nonetheless purchase the Swap to play older video games, Nintendo is below much less stress to announce video games earlier than they’re prepared, mentioned Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Securities.

Followers are nonetheless ready for particulars on hotly anticipated titles such because the sequel to Breath of the Wild, which was once more categorised as “To-Be-Introduced” in filings on Thursday.

Many shoppers are additionally unable to seek out Swap {hardware} itself, with Nintendo’s lean provide chain stretched additional by the coronavirus outbreak. CEO Shuntaro Furukawa mentioned he sees disruption easing by the summer time.

Some 85% of fourth-quarter software program gross sales have been titles developed by Nintendo. The gross sales momentum serves as a rejoinder to critics who level to the risk from entrants corresponding to Google (GOOGL.O) and Apple (AAPL.O).

Quite, avid gamers who wish to hoover up ghosts in Luigi’s Mansion or have interaction in an inky turf warfare in Splatoon should purchase a Nintendo system.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Enhancing by David Dolan and David Evans

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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