Nintendo Is Going Big On Indie Games
It’s difficult to argue that Nintendo hasn’t found success with the Switch. There are many factors that have led to the success of the Switch, one of those being the steady release of indie games on the system. During a recent shareholders meeting, Nintendo stated their intent to increase the number of indie games coming to the system.
Nintendo plans to increase indie game releases on the Switch
During a recent meeting with shareholders a question was asked about indie games, Nintendo executives responded to the question outlining some plans for indie games on the Switch moving forward.
Q7 Indie games have become a hot topic recently. As games made by small-scale developers around the world with relatively low development costs, how will Nintendo integrate these kinds of games into its future business strategy?
Offering enjoyable first-party games throughout the world will continue to be one of our strengths, but increasing the number of people who make games to be played on Nintendo platforms is also very important for growing our business. That is why we are working to create an environment that makes development easier, and simplifying the process of publishing games on Nintendo Switch. This has resulted in a large number of people playing an array of indie games on Nintendo Switch.
During development on Nintendo Switch, creating a development environment where it would be easy to create games was one of our top priorities. One of the good things to come from this is the large number of indie games, especially in Europe and North America. We do not think of indie games as competition for the large-scale games we develop ourselves. Rather, I think these indie games are what really invigorate Nintendo Switch overall.
We started working with indie developers during the Wii U generation. For Nintendo Switch, we set up a development environment that supports Unity middleware, which is used on smartphones and other platforms. We are also actively engaging with indie developers at video game-focused shows and other events in different regions. We also had a Nintendo booth at the BitSummit indie game event held in Kyoto, where we showcased some games. Some of the indie games already released have gone on to become million sellers worldwide. In the future, we are looking to release around 20 to 30 indie games on Nintendo Switch per week, and we definitely expect to see some great games among them.
We are currently working towards reaching 1,500 software titles developed for Nintendo platforms using Unity. I think that will give you an idea of how much it has grown.
Best Laid Plans
I think it’s safe to say that 20 to 30 indie releases weekly Is ambitious to say the least. As with most things execution here will be the key as to rather or not this indie push will succeed. There’s also other factors that will contribute to the success or failure of this endeavor.
For starters, the quality of titles that are released on a weekly basis will be a key factor. If 20 indie games release on the eshop on a weekly basis and 18 are asset flips or low-quality cash grabs. Then the effort to promote more indie games on the Switch will fall flat on its face.
The second thing that needs to be done for this endeavor to succeed, is that Nintendo needs to work on an overhaul of the eshop itself. As it stands now the eshop uses what can best be described as a minimalist design. Which was fine when the Switch first launched, as more titles have released, the flaws in the eshop have become harder to hide.
The eshop needs a serious face-lift, such as making it easier to discover new titles. Otherwise many of these indie games are going to get lost in the number of titles being released. If Nintendo can’t overcome these issues, then this indie game endeavor will fail. Which wouldn’t just be a blow to Nintendo, it would be a blow to all the indie devs that have invested in the Switch.
A Waiting Game
While this ambitious effort on the part of Nintendo may prove to be beneficial to everyone involved. Of course, right now we don’t have enough information to go on now, so this is all speculation on my part. Still, 20 to 30 indie games on a weekly basis does hold a lot of possibilities.
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