It's pretty safe to say at this point that amiibo has definitely proven to have been a profitable venture for Nintendo. While it may be that some figures are extremely difficult to find in stores, it cannot be understated that demand has been high all across the board; especially considering that, with new games being released each month that support amiibo, they become more appealing and useful as time passes.
During Nintendo's recent financial results briefing, amiibo was unsurprisingly a key topic and the results were very satisfying. For starters, Nintendo has shipped 10.5 million units around the world, with 5.7 million of those being before the end of 2014. What this means is that amiibo has not been a "flash in the pan" and that the concept has staying power even outside of the holiday season. Interestingly enough, a staggering 66 percent of amiibo sales have been in the U.S. and Canada, with Europe coming in second at 20 percent, Japan at 11 percent, and Australia at 3 percent.
On the omnipresent problem of stock shortages, Iwata-san reinforced that Nintendo is doing all that it can to keep supply up. Factors being considered for which amiibo will receive prioritized production are how quickly the amiibo sold out, how integral it is to a particular game, and how high demand for it has been among retailers and consumers. No time frame was given for when things will actually start to get better, but at least the issue is being addressed.
In regards to the future of amiibo, Iwata had plenty to say. He brought up the special Yoshi's Wooly World amiibo, which will actually be made out of yarn. Also, the card-based amiibo, which will be used with the upcoming Animal Crossing spinoff, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, on the 3DS. Lastly, Iwata mentioned the NFC adapter for the old Nintendo 3DS, so those who haven't yet upgraded can enjoy their amiibo with their portable. No release dates to windows were given on any of these, hopefully more information will be released soon.
Of course, here's the relevant dialogue from the briefing, straight from the horse's mouth:
We launched a new product category – amiibo – simultaneously with "Super Smash Bros for Wii U," and the end of the subject fiscal term marked a total shipment of approximately 10.5 million units worldwide. As we had shipped approximately 5.7 million units by the end of calendar year 2014, it is safe to say that we achieved very strong growth even in the period immediately after the year-end sales season was over. Our assessment is that people purchase additional amiibo figures without any seasonal bias, as they are relatively more affordable than video game titles.
Our consumers have been inconvenienced by stock shortages on some of the figures in our amiibo lineup. We have increased production for amiibo figures that have sold out very quickly after launch, that are indispensable to play a certain game and for which we have received strong demand from retailers and consumers. However, we are very sorry that we can't promise at what point we will likely be able to resolve the current situation because figures such as these require a considerable amount of time to produce, store shelf space is limited and it is difficult to precisely predict the exact amount of overall demand.
On the other hand, the number of software titles compatible with amiibo is increasing and consumers' recognition and understanding for amiibo has improved significantly compared to the launch period, so we believe that we can predict further sales growth.
What do you make of all this? What would you like to see out of amiibo in the future? Share your thoughts in the comments below.