By YURI KAGEYAMA
AP Business Writer
TOKYO (AP) — Nintendo’s profit for the fiscal year ended in March was little changed from the previous year, edging down 0.6% to 477.7 billion yen ($3.7 billion), the Japanese video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises said Tuesday.
Sales for the fiscal year fell 3.6% to 1.7 trillion yen ($13 billion) as fewer Nintendo Switch machines were sold, and IP income from mobile content also declined, according to Kyoto-based Nintendo Co.
But players around the world of the Nintendo Switch, including game fans in South America as well as Asia, now totaled some 102 million people, up from 87 million people the previous fiscal year, Nintendo said.
Especially popular in Nintendo game software lately were “Pokemon Legends: Arceus” and a new Kirby game, according to Nintendo.
Game makers have reaped windfall profits from more people staying home during the coronavirus pandemic over the last two years. But sales of Nintendo Switch consoles had more momentum in the previous fiscal year, driven by its hit game, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.”
Console sales are often driven by hit games, although the devices tend to sell better early on and then slowly decline in popularity.
Nintendo has said the dearth of computer chips as a result of COVID-19 restrictions has hindered output.
Nintendo faces tough competition not only from longtime rivals in video games such as Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. but also newcomers like Netflix and Google.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yurikageyama