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Nintendo's profits jump nearly 428% amid COVID-19 lockdowns

Nintendo said Thursday the video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons boosted profits in the first quarter. Image courtesy of Nintendo
Nintendo said Thursday the video game "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" boosted profits in the first quarter. Image courtesy of Nintendo

Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Nintendo reported Thursday that its operating profits jumped nearly 428% year-over-year amid COVID-19 lockdowns.

The Japanese gaming giant noted in its first quarter report for April-June, that the video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was released in March, "contributed greatly to overall growth in sales."

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The game became popular as players sought escapism during coronavirus lockdowns.

The game sold over 10 million copies and in less than five months reached a cumulative sales total of 22.4 million, second only to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (26.74 million), which took three years to reach that number.

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Net sales for the first quarter were up 108 percent from the same quarter last year. The new game also contributed to Nintendo Switch sales, according to the report. The Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite are video game hybrid consoles that can be used as home consoles and portable devices.

"Of all the systems in the Nintendo Switch family that were played during the first time during this period [first quarter], over half were used to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the first day," the report said.

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Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite consoles sales increased by nearly 167% over the same quarter last year.

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The company said in the report that COVID-19 caused some difficulties in getting parts to manufacture Nintendo Switch consoles, but the company has mostly recovered.

"However, if the impact of COVID-19 expands in the future, it may affect manufacturing," the report said.

Earlier this week, Japanese-based Sony reported a 1 percent drop in profits in its first-quarter results, but game sales climbed 82 percent over the same quarter last year, mostly from digital downloads.

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