Nintendo on the smaller scale of Switch games this year, using different methods to fill in gaps between big titles
For Switch’s initial year, Nintendo came out with big Switch games month after month. Zelda: Breath of the Wild got things started, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, Splatoon 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, Super Mario Odyssey, and Xenolade Chronicles 2 releasing in subsequent months.
2018 has had its own fair share of games, but you could argue that the lineup has been a bit quieter – especially during the first half of the year. This was brought up during Nintendo’s latest financial results briefing, with president Shuntaro Furukawa said that it “takes a long time” to make games and “there will inevitably be periods during the hardware lifecycle when we are unable to release major new titles.” As such, the company needs to use different methods to fill in those gaps, such as “continuing to promote the sale of titles released in the previous year, release add-on content, highlight the appeal of hardware itself, and use services like Nintendo Switch Online to keep the utilization ratio of the hardware up.”
The previous fiscal year was the first one after the launch of Nintendo Switch, and during that time, we released a succession of major first-party titles that helped sustain the momentum building behind Nintendo Switch. If you compare this year to last year, we are still releasing new titles, but each title’s sales volume is at a smaller scale than last year. That is true. Software development takes a long time, so there will inevitably be periods during the hardware lifecycle when we are unable to release major new titles. During those times, what we must do is make use of a variety of different methods to fill any gaps between the times we have major title releases. We do that by continuing to promote the sale of titles released in the previous year, release add-on content, highlight the appeal of hardware itself, and use services like Nintendo Switch Online to keep the utilization ratio of the hardware up.
As for our software release plans for the next fiscal year and beyond, we have not disclosed all the information yet. We are currently discussing initiatives for the next fiscal year and beyond based on this fiscal year, and we will talk about those at a later time.