Recently, Nintendo showed just how invested they were in the indie games market when they held a Nintendo Direct to show off the “Nindies” that were coming to the Nintendo Switch both at launch, and in the upcoming year.
It was an impressive showcase, with many titles from many developers that spanned a wide range of genres. But, according to Nintendo, they want this to be just the beginning. For according to Damon Baker, head of publisher & developer relations, and the man who headed up the Nindie Showcase, Nintendo believes that if the game and content is right, it should be on the Nintendo Switch. He tells GameIndustry.Biz:
“What we’ve got here is we’ve identified a bunch of those developers that we think taps into what resonates really well with the Nintendo audience in particular and showcasing why that content fits so well on Nintendo Switch specifically.
The way we’re looking at Switch is this is a complementary platform. If it’s on Steam, then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be on Nintendo Switch as well,” he remarked. “If you want to take that experience on the go, if you want to have a baked in multiplayer experience, this is the system to do it. It’s got those points of differentiation, but we’re not trying to go head-to-head against any of the other platforms. We just think that if the content makes sense to be over on our platform then it should be on our platform.
That’s a bold claim, comparing the Nintendo Switch to Steam, the latter of which has been a haven for indie games for a very long time. Yet, you can understand the comparison, and many indie game developers have said that working with Nintendo to bring their games to their platforms has been amazing.
Now, if you’re thinking that they’ll welcome ALL indie games to the Nintendo Switch, not just yet.
“We haven’t opened the floodgates yet,” Baker said. “We are just really taking an approach with the launch window to make sure the content really resonates with fans. We’re not saying no to content that only uses the touchscreen or doesn’t use the Joy-Con in a unique way, but at the same time we’re trying to encourage those developers and have a conversation with them and say, ‘Look, fans are probably expecting these types of fun features and functionality in the game’ so maybe they should consider them and take a look at what it would take to implement that technology into the game if it makes sense for that type of experience.”
This is a big step for Nintendo, and they’ve already scored some big wins in the indie games market by getting timed exclusives and full-ons exclusives for the Switch. What’s coming next? Only time will tell.