Nintendo is having a rough fiscal year, but the company was able to rub off some shine from Pokémon Go to help buoy its most recent quarterly results.
The 3DS and its Pokémon games saw a boost in sales last quarter thanks to the Google Maps-powered Pokémon Go app from developer Niantic. That game, which debuted in July and has already generated $500 million in spending, has reenergized a generation of fans, and they are spending some of their cash to purchase the 3DS handheld and releases like Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. While Go dominated the $36.6 billion mobile-gaming market, Nintendo is benefiting from the residual excitement.
“On the hardware side, Nintendo 2DS saw sales growth,” reads Nintendo’s quarterly report. “The release of the smart device application Pokémon Go led to increased sales of software in the Pokémon series released in the past and drove the Nintendo 3DS family hardware sales growth, particularly outside of Japan.”
During the first six months of Nintendo’s fiscal year, the company sold 2.71 million 3DS systems. That’s up 19 percent compared to the same period in 2015. This suggests that fans got a taste of the pocket monster on mobile, and that led them to seek out a more robust and traditional gaming experience on an official Nintendo platform. As the company moves ahead with its first mobile games, starting with Super Mario Run in December, it wants to continue to use iOS and Android to generate excitement for the larger, more elaborate games in the same franchise on Wii U, 3DS, and the Switch.
While hardware was up, software was flat year-over-year. Gamers purchased 19.23 million 3DS games through the first six months of the publisher’s fiscal year. The year-over-year growth for 3DS software should come this holiday when Nintendo releases Pokémon Sun and Moon.
Finally, if you’re wondering how much money Nintendo is making from Pokémon Go, it doesn’t work like that. The publisher owns a third of The Pokémon Company, which oversees the brand. The value of the equity Nintendo owns in that associated subsidiary jumped $115 million, and Pokémon Go was likely responsible for a lot of that.