Nintendo Releases Fiscal Year 2021 Report

Nintendo has released their financial report for the 2021 fiscal year which ran from April 1 2021-March 31 2022. Hardware and software sales for the Nintendo Switch continued to be strong throughout the year however there was a slight decrease in net profits from the 2021 fiscal year, likely due factors like the COVID-19 pandemic affecting production, the age of the Nintendo Switch hardware, and the global computer chip shortage issues.

Here’s a breakdown of the figures:

Consolidated Financial Results for 2021-2022 Year

  • Net Sales: ¥1,695.3 Billion ($13,008,204.98)
  • Operating Profit: ¥592,760 Billion ($4,547,476,892.00)
  • Ordinary Profit: ¥670,813 Billion ($5,146,276,092.10)
  • Profit Attributable to Owners of Parent: ¥477,691 Billion ($3,664,702,044.70)

Consolidated Financial Forecast for the Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2023

  • Net Sales: ¥1,600.0 Billion ($12,274,720.00)
  • Operating Profit: ¥500.0 Billion ($3,835,850,000.00)
  • Ordinary Profit: ¥480.0 Billion ($3,682,416,000.00)
  • Profit Attributable to Owners of Parent: ¥340.0 Billion ($2,608,378,000.00)
  • 21 million Switch units sold
  • 210 million Switch software units sold

Nintendo Switch Hardware and Software Sales

  • Total Hardware: 107.65 million units
  • Total Software: 822.18 million units
  • FY2022 Switch Hardware Sales: 23.06 million units (13.56 million Switch, 5.80 million OLED, 3.7 million Lite)

Nintendo 3DS Hardware and Software Sales

  • Total Hardware: 75.94million units
  • Total Software: 388.55million units

Notes

  • Shortages of semiconductor components impacted hardware sales during the year resulting in a 20% decrease in hardware sales.
  • 39 Nintendo Switch games sold over 1 million copies during to 2021-2022 fiscal year.
  • Software sales grew by 1.8% to 235.07 million units, setting the record for the highest annual software sales for a Nintendo console.
  • Digital sales saw a 4.5% increase from the previous year.
  • The mobile sales decreased by 6.5% from the previous year.

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Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake to Change Development Teams

Today the Prince of Persia Twitter account posted that the upcoming title will be changing development teams from Ubisoft’s Mumbai and Ubisoft Pune studios to Ubisoft Montreal. The post notes that Ubisoft Montreal is the studio that worked on the original Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and that the team will “regroup on the scope of the game” indicating that perhaps the Mumbai and Pune studios had hit a wall in the development of the remake.

The game was first revealed in September of 2020 with a release date of January 21st 2021, it was then delayed to March of 2021. The game was then delayed until sometime during before March 2023. While this announcement doesn’t confirm a delay for the game, it is a clear indication that the game is still deep in development and changing development studios like this suggests that the game still has quite a way to go before it is ready.

The Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake is currently set to release on PC, Play Station 4, and Xbox One.

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Netflix Reveals Teaser for Sonic Prime, Sonic to Have a New Voice Actor in the Series

Sonic Prime. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022

Today Netflix released a teaser trailer for the upcoming Sonic Prime animated series starring Sonic the Hedgehog. The trailer shows Sonic zooming through a landscape collecting rings then he stops to give a short quip showing off the character’s voice for the series.

Reports are that Canadian voice actor Deven Mack will be voicing Sonic the Hedgehog in this show. Roger Craig Smith, the voice of Sonic from the video games, confirmed last year that he wouldn’t be voicing sonic in this series. The show is expected to premiere later this year on Netflix. As of yet no exact date has been confirmed.

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Twitch.TV to Reduce Partner Payment Rate and Push More Ads to Viewers

In a Bloomberg report sources inside the Amazon-owned streaming service Twitch.tv announced plans to restructure the partnership program. The payout split for the top percentage of partnered streamers will be decreased from a 70/30 split down to a 50/50 split. The platform is looking to increase ad revenue by pushing more ads to viewers to that end the partner program is being restructured to incentivize streamers to push more ads to their viewers in order to get a better split of ad revenue. In an attempt to lessen the sting of this move, the platform is also considering removing the exclusivity clause from the partner program allowing Twitch partners to stream on other platforms like Google’s YouTube platform, or Meta’s Facebook.

The Ad Discourse on Twitch

According to the report, some of these changes could roll out as early as this summer. Ads have always a big issue on the platform due to their intrusive nature interrupting the live broadcast and causing viewers to entirely miss crucial moments on stream. This impacts the creators as well because viewers will often tune or and leave the stream rather that being inundated with ads that take them out of the viewing experience. This new partner partner program arrangement is very likely to hurt both viewers and streamers alike, and could drive many creators and viewers away from the streaming platform.

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Elon Musk Buys Twitter in $44 Billion Deal

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Today Twitter announced that Tesla owner Elon Musk will be purchasing the company at a price of 44 billion USD. This deal comes after weeks of back and forth starting when Musk purchased a 9% stake in the company. The Twitter board attempted to block Elon’s efforts to buy the platform by activating a poison pill which flooded the market with shares at a lower value in hopes of making the prospect too expensive. Musk overcame this tactic, and purchased Twitter at 54.20 per share in a cash transaction.

This change in ownership will make Twitter a private company, and Musk has already proposed some of the policy he intends to enact such as making the algorithm open source so users can see exactly how it works. In the immediate future this likely won’t have any effect on the site, which has become a pillar in the PR social media strategies of many game companies and games media outlets.

Super Mario Bros. Animated Film Delayed to Spring 2023

Today the official Nintendo Twitter account posted a message from Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario and the producer of the upcoming animated Super Mario Bros. movie from Illumination films. The post announced that the film which was originally scheduled to release this fall has been pushed back to Spring of 2021.

The film, which stars Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario, was originally set to release on Decemeber 21st 2022. The film is now scheduled to release on April 7th 2023 in North America and April 28th 2023 in Japan. As of yet a trailer hasn’t been released for the movie, though there has been speculation that a trailer could premier this summer.

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Key Art for Sonic Origins Leaked Through PSN Listing

The key art to the upcoming game collection Sonic Origins has leaked via the games listing on Play Station Network (PSN). The game which was announced during the Sonic The Hedgehog 30th anniversary stream last year is a collection featuring Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic The Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic CD. The games in the collection will be in widescreen format, and there will be other content and features.

The game’s rating has been listed on the Australian Ratings board indicating that a release date for the collection may be announced soon.

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Gamer Girl Queen Belle Delphine Returns to Internet

This week the gamer girl, internet star, and meme queen Belle Delphine made her first posts on social media in over a year.

On April 18th Belle posted to Twitter:

She made another post on April 19th:

The posts showcased Belle still has her signature style, and her ironic wit. The second post was more sincere with the creator saying that she missed the internet and has a lot to catch up on.

The 22-year-old is known for taking extended brakes from the internet seemingly out of nowhere. The last time Belle posted before this week was February 14th 2021 where she posted to her Twitter account promoting a line of gaming PC accessories by Ghost Keyboards who created a Bell Delphine collection.

During the 14-month hiatus many fans wondered where Belle was and why she vanished. Several critics created videos and posts proclaiming the death of Belle’s career as many have done during her previous disappearances. As of this time Belle has offered no explanation for her disappearance, and if she has proven anything with her hiatuses it is that absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder even on the internet.

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SquareEnix Announces Kingdom Hearts IV

During SquareEnix’s Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary event Kingdom Hearts IV was announced with a gameplay trailer. Kingdom Hearts IV marks the beginning of a new saga called the “The Lost Master Arc”. The trailer shows Sora, who appears to have been transported to a new world called “Quadratum” a place that resembles a city in real-world Japan. A new character is shown and explains that Sora arrived in the world seven days ago suggesting that this game takes place right after the events of Kingdom Hearts III. Suddenly a giant Darkside heartless appears in the middle of the city and Sora goes to fight it.

The combat shows some new gameplay elements such as Sora now having a grappling hook ability that allows him to pull himself towards objects, he is also shown using a keyblade ability that creates an drill made of light energy. Two figures in black hoods are shown to be watching Sora, one of them stating that even if Sora escapes Quadtatum, he won’t find his way back to his home world. The trailer ends with Donald Duck and Goofy searching for someone that they believe can help them with something, presumably finding Sora. A mysterious voice call them from behind and a magical burst appears.

The game is being made in Unreal Engine 5, and the worlds are currently being developed. No release date or platforms have been announced.

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Guide to Parasocial Relationships in Streaming and Social Media

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The term “parasocial” is becoming something of a buzzword among the gaming community recently. The advent of huge streaming personalities that appeal to vulnerable audiences has long been an issue in the community. From Twitch metas to VTubers, to streaming ban appeals, everything about the current Twitch culture is about cultivating and tweaking the parasocial relationship between the viewers and the streamers. The term “parasocial relationship” is tossed around to refer to the unhealthy results of bad parasocial practices.

What is a Parasocial Relationship?

We’ll start at the beginning. What exactly IS a parasocial relationship? The term may sound like a complex ‘abnormal’ condition, but it is actually very simple and a common and critical part of the human experience.

A parasocial relationship is when an individual experiences a one-sided relationship with another individual, group, or organization that doesn’t know that this individual exists. The individual feels all of the genuine emotions and connection that come with this relationship, however it is not reciprocated. The term was created by sociologists Donald Horton and Richard Wohl in their 1956 research article. They observed that viewers of mass media experience real emotional connections to the figures on the television and radio programs they consumed. They noted that these relationships were one way, but the emotions and cognition of the individuals were the same as if they had a face-to-face relationship with the mass media figures.

Parasocial relationships are voluntary and the individual often experiences positive emotions like happiness, gratitude, loyalty, love, and encouragement. The individual will also often feel that they identify with the media parties, sometimes the experience can help the individual find and reinforce their own personal identity.

Is it Bad to Have a Parasocial Relationship with a streamer?

Parasocial relationships are not bad in and of themselves. Studies have shown that these relationships build positive emotions that are crucial for mental health, and that individuals actually grow their social connections through parasocial relationships. The stereotype that it is only lonely sad individuals that form these parasocial bonds is entirely incorrect. People form parasocial relationships all the time and the vast majority of these parasocial relationships are healthy and productive. Have a favorite sports team? What about a historic role model that inspires you? Favorite band? Do scientific institutions make fill you with marvel at the possibilities of the future? Well, all of these are examples of parasocial relationships.

The one-sided nature of parasocial relationships is great for building self-esteem. The individual is free to engage sincerely in the emotions and bond in safety without the rejection, meanness, manipulation, and abuse that can show up in other relationships.

How to Spot When Para-social Relationship is Unhealthy?

The signs of an unhealthy parasocial relationship are very similar to those found in other unhealthy relationships. The individual can experience body image issues. Parasocial relationships also become unhealthy when the individual’s feelings become obsessive causing them ruminate on these negative thoughts. Parasocial breakup is a phenomenon where the individual experiences a break-up of their parasocial bond with the other party. This results in all of the pain and mental distress that accompanies break-ups in other types of relationships. The individual can experience feelings of bitterness, resentment, and anger towards the party.

Parasocial Bonds and Twitch Streamers

The advent of social media has given viewers more access to mass media than ever before. People can spend all day watching content, and engaging in fandom of their favorite creators. However, this comes at a price because social media is designed by function to create and exploit parasocial relationships. Streamers learn to foster parasocial bonds because it creates a fiercely loyal fanbase that will always engage with content. In some cases streamers will feed their own narcissistic and manipulative traits by cultivating toxic fanbases where no criticism of the streamer is allowed. These streamers will even rally these fanbases as a personal attack force to go after critics and other creators. The tier three sub meme has come to represent these fans that have crossed the threshold into unhealthy parasocial relationships with streamers.

Too many streamers and people in the industry see the toxicity of these parasocial relationships and make an attribution error, blaming the toxicity on parasocial relationships rather that looking deeper and seeing that it is the way in which that relationship was cultivated that is what makes a parasocial relationship shift from typical to unhealthy. This is the same thing as when people say that all relationships are bad rather than looking at behaviors of the individuals involved in a relationship and how they maintained it.

What Can We Do?

As a viewer it can be difficult to maintain a proper perspective in the age of social media and content creators pushing closer and closer parasocial bonds to drive engagement and views while at the same time ultimately treating their fans as faceless nobodies at best, and holding them in utter contempt at the worst. It’s important to keep these things in mind when enjoying your favorite content:

  • Remember the streamer is selling a product at the end of the day. Approach it as your would any other salesperson.
  • Your feelings are your own, and they are valid. However, the streamer is never obligated to reciprocate.
  • Always take care of yourself first. A friend wouldn’t want you to deny yourself or suffer for their sake.
  • It’s okay to take breaks. There is nothing wrong with unplugging from your favorite streamers/content for a while.
  • Try to friends and forge new bonds with other members of the streamer’s community.
  • Explore other streams and types of content. Spread your wings and broaden your horizons.
  • Respect yourself. If a streamer/creator is legitimately mean or abusive to their audience, you have the power to walk away. You don’t need to announce it or give a reason why.
  • Enjoy yourself. If the parasocial relationship between you and a streamer/creator is causing you pain take a step back and assess if the bond is healthy one, and if it isn’t consider changing your perspective or taking a break.
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