KEY POINTS

  • Since its release in late March, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” has sold 22.4M copies, making it the second most popular Nintendo Switch game ever
  • It has already doubled what its predecessor, "Animal Crossing: New Leaf," made during that title's lifetime
  • Nintendo’s net profit is up by 541.3%, with hardware sales of the original Switch up by 166.6%

Nintendo has released its latest financial data and it confirms that “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” deserves the title of “Video Game of the Pandemic.”

 Since its release in late March, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” has sold 22.4M copies, making it the second most popular Nintendo Switch game ever, right behind “Mario Kart 8” (which as of this writing, sits at 26.7M units), notes Polygon.

These numbers become even more impressive when one considers that it hasn’t even been a full year yet since the game’s release. For comparison purposes, it has already outsold the following: “ Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” (19.9M copies), “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” (18.6M), “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield” (18.2M) and “Super Mario Odyssey” (18.06M).

Most of those aforementioned games are system sellers and were already out for at least a year or more prior to tallying those sales numbers. Any or all of those titles could also probably be considered as “more mainstream” than “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” but a lot has changed in the last few months.

Now that “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” has become a household name, if sales momentum for the game continues, then it is likely only a matter of time before it becomes the best-selling game ever for the Nintendo Switch.

Whereas the previous title in the franchise, “Animal Crossing: New Leaf” has 12.55M lifetime sales, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” has already doubled what its predecessor made. It’s an impressive feat for Nintendo to say the least.

While many industries are suffering in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, video games are doing pretty okay, and that’s reflected in Nintendo’s newest financial earnings statement covering April to June 2020. Nintendo’s net profit is up by 541.3%, with hardware sales of the original Switch up by 166.6%.

Despite these numbers, there was a shortage of Switches recently and Nintendo said that the pandemic “created some difficulties in procuring the parts required for the manufacture of Nintendo Switch consoles, but the situation has almost recovered.”

The Japanese company states that COVID-19 could still have an effect on manufacturing consoles in the future, however.

“Regarding Nintendo Switch consoles, because there is a time lag between production and the stocking of store shelves, and because demand remains strong, there are still shortages in some regions,” Nintendo explains in its financial earnings document. “We work hard to be able to deliver these products to consumers as quickly as possible.”

Games like Nintendo's Animal Crossing gained ground during the virus lockdowns, helping to fuel record sales in the sector in the United States, according a market trackers Games like Nintendo's Animal Crossing gained ground during the virus lockdowns, helping to fuel record sales in the sector in the United States, according a market trackers Photo: AFP / William WEST