Nintendo has published their FY3 2020 Q4 earnings release report, which has a big discussion about the company’s current plans for their future release schedule, which is very uncertain due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Nintendo expresses much uncertainty over the pandemic, which has still been a constantly changing situation. Nintendo is worried about “a global decline in production and consumption” and “the effects of COVID-19” being “prolonged or worsen further”. The latter, Nintendo says, may impact their development schedules. Although the company says “we anticipate that production and sales will be able to meet demand for the full year and that we will be able to release software titles now in development as planned”, it is clear that Nintendo is preparing for the possibility that they may have to change their plans. You can see their remarks about the situation in full down below.
“Statements relating to future projections represent the judgments made by Nintendo management based on information that was available at the time they were written, and therefore include certain potential risks and uncertainties. Regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our earnings forecasts, production and sales volumes may decrease for a certain period of time, but we anticipate that production and sales will be able to meet demand for the full year and that we will be able to release software titles now in development as planned. That being said, there are many elements of uncertainty, so if there is a need to revise our earnings forecasts at a later date, we will promptly disclose those revisions. Please be aware that such risks and uncertainties may cause actual results to be materially different from these forecasts (including but not limited to earnings forecasts and dividend forecasts).
There are concerns that COVID-19 will lead to a global decline in production and consumption. Given the situation, we will work to continue to convey the appeal of the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite hardware and expand their installed base. Our plans with Nintendo software include the release of Xenoblade Definitive Edition in May and Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics in June. In addition, we plan to distribute The Isle of Armor for Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass by the end of June as the first-ever add-on content for the Pokémon series, and to follow that up with The Crown Tundra in the fall. Other software publishers also plan to release a wide variety of appealing titles, and the combination of existing popular titles and a continuous stream of appealing new titles will work together to invigorate the platform.
If the effects of COVID-19 are prolonged or worsen further, development schedules may be impacted due to the difference in development environments between working from home and in the office. In particular, the impact to overseas subsidiaries and other affiliated companies involved in development is anticipated to be even more difficult to predict than within Japan. As a result of these factors, we may not be able to proceed with the release of Nintendo products and the start of services as planned. This is also true for other software publishers, so it may not be possible to provide game content on Nintendo platforms as planned.”