How Third parties have done their part in support of the Nintendo Switch.
If you followed Nintendo closely during the Wii and Wii U years, then you probably know just how barren software releases were. In the case of the Wii, it could be argued that many games were being developed for the console, but they weren’t necessarily of high quality. Third parties attempted to take advantage of the casual user base by offering family friendly options, or dumbed down versions of popular games.
In regards to Wii U, some third parties gave the console a legitimate chance. Ubisoft, for instance, released Rayman Legends, Assassin’s Creed III and IV, Splinter Cell, Just Dance, and Watch Dogs. Activision tried two Call of Duty games. Darksiders I and II were available. So it’s not like third parties completely ignored the platform. But it is certainly nothing like what’s happening right now with the Switch.
The support of third parties right now is the healthiest it has been for Nintendo in a long time. There are still a few big developers and publishers that haven’t made the switch(hehe), but the overwhelming support by a few developers have more than made up for the lack of games from Blizzard or Red Projekt.
When you talk third parties on the Switch, the logical place to start is with Square Enix. After testing the waters with RPGs I Am Setsuna, Lost Sphear, and Octopath Traveler, Square Enix has decided to dive in head first in 2019. Final Fantasy IX, World of Final Fantasy Maxima, and FF XV pocket edition are already available, and a slew of others from the series are on the way in the coming months. Soon Switch owners will be able to play some of the most beloved games, including VII and X/X-2. And Tokyo RPG Factory’s Oninaki was just announced in the last Nintendo Direct. It is a bit surreal seeing FF games on a Nintendo console, but surreal doesn’t trump reality. This doesn’t even take into account that Dragon Quest XI is still on the way or that Dragon Quest Builders 1 and 2 are already out.
Ubisoft has been an incredible western partner thus far for Nintendo, with Mario + Rabbids and Starlink being two games where Nintendo has lent their IP. But the support doesn’t stop there. Just take a look at the content Ubisoft has brought to the console.
- South Park: The Stick of Truth
- South Park: Fractured But Whole
- Child of Light
- Rayman Legends
They have also announced Assassin’s Creed III for the Switch, and it’s reasonable to assume they will fill in plenty more in the years to come.
Capcom tends to be one of those publishers that many people have a negative opinion of, but in the case of the Switch, it’s hard to argue with the support. Already we have seen Resident Evil Revelations 1 and 2, with 0, HD, and 4 on the way. They released Monster Hunter Generations last year, and have confirmed a new MH for Switch is in the works. They’ve also released Mega Man 11 and Mega Man Legacy Collections for the console. In April, they are releasing Dragon’s Dogma and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney trilogy. Just like Square Enix, Capcom is throwing all it can, essentially, at the Switch.
You can’t mention third parties without mentioning NIS America, in my opinion. The publisher from the very start has committed to the Switch, showing near, though not complete(looking at you Dagonronpa) parity with the PS4 releases. When the Switch was revealed, I had a good feeling about NIS America, and their support has been steady. Here’s the list, and it’s impressive.
- Disgaea 5
- Disgaea 1 Complete
- YS VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
- Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle
- The Longest Five Minutes
- Penny Punching Princess
- Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory
- Happy Birthdays
- Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded
- SNK HEROINES ~Tag Team Frenzy~
- Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk
- Yomawari: The Long Night Collection
- The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince
They also have plenty of games on the way, headlined by The Caligua Effect, which releases March 12, and RPG Maker. The Princess Guide is also on deck, releasing March 26th.
The type of support that NIS has shown, though not what many people consider AAA, is so important for a platform to have. These smaller, AA releases that NIS brings can help fill voids and provide variety in content.
Not even touching on indie games, which are also considered third parties, support is as strong as maybe it has ever been for a Nintendo platform. It’s just another example of how things can drastically change, and quickly in the video game industry. Just a few short years ago, this type of support for a Nintendo home console seemed impossible. And this isn’t even all of it! Now, it’s almost impossible to keep up with every new game that is announced, and the Switch continues to get content to fill out an already robust library. The turn around has been incredible, and we, as fans, and as gamers, are the benefactors.