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Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Nintendo Returns to Profitability on Pokemon Game Sales But Cuts full-year Outlook


Nintendo on Tuesday said its third-quarter profit more than doubled from a year earlier on healthy sales of Pokemon game software, but announced an one-third cut to its full-year outlook.



Nintendo's operating profit reached 32.3 billion yen ($284 million) in October-December, 3.7 percent lower than the same period a year earlier.

For the year ending March, Nintendo cut its operating profit forecast to 20 billion yen from 30 billion yen due to lower game software downloads for its consoles.

The quarterly result signals that Nintendo's foray into mobile gaming last year has started to make meaningful contributions to earnings.

In the nine months through December, the games maker said it earned about 10.7 billion yen from mobile gaming, accessories and related merchandise, including from its first Nintendo-branded mobile game, Super Mario Run.

Super Mario Run has reached about 78 million downloads since its Dec. 15 launch, Nintendo said.

But the game has also received a high number of reviews from users complaining mainly about its $9.99 one-time cost, with less than 10 percent of users paying to unlock all features.

Nintendo also earns profit from mobile game Pokemon Go through investment in developers Pokemon and Niantic. For April-December, that profit was around 16 billion yen.

Nintendo has said it plans to release around 3 mobile games a year, with two titles - Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem - planned for the coming months.

The company will also release its Switch hybrid home console and handheld device on March 3 and expects to ship 2 million units by the end of that month.

The launch lineup includes first-party software such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 1-2-Switch as well as strong third-party titles.

For Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo aims to maintain the buzz surrounding the hit titles Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon and Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, as well as releasing new titles such as Mario Sports Superstars.

For smart devices, Nintendo plans to release the game application Fire Emblem Heroes on February 2. The company will also follow last December's release of Super Mario Run for iOS with an Android version in March.



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