Nintendo and third-party studios don’t always blend. Ever since the Gamecube, Nintendo has struggled to adopt the same amount of third party support that Sony and Microsoft have. This was especially true during the Wii U’s short lifespan, as barely anyone wanted to take the time to make games for it. This resulted in a system that was lacking in big third-party titles, and gamers were worried that this may happen to the Switch as well.
Fortunately, that doesn’t seem like it’s something fans need to be worried about anytime soon. Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct came with the announcement of Doom and Wolfenstein ll for the Nintendo Switch. It’s not the old Doom either; id Software is bringing their triple-A first-person shooter from last year to the Switch. Obviously, the visuals for both of these titles will have to be scaled down in order to run on Nintendo’s weaker hardware, but the important part is what this means for the Switch going forward.
Skyrim was announced for the Switch before the system even released, however, gamers had no idea whether or not this was going to be Bethesda’s only game on the system. As one of the larger third-party studios, their support in the future is certainly important to Nintendo, especially if they want to convince other third parties to develop for their console. After the most recent Nintendo direct, it’s clear that Bethesda is doubling down on the Switch because they see potential, especially after all of the success that indies have been having with their titles.
Yes, Doom has been out for a while, so some may just call it a port. But Wolfenstein ll hasn’t even released yet, meaning they are willing to put the next installment in one of their major franchises on the hybrid machine (albeit at a later date). This means that other third-party developers have no excuse. Indies are flocking to the Switch, EA is providing a complete sports experience, and Bethesda is bringing their major franchises over for good measure.
Is this a smart move on Bethesda’s part? If history has anything to say about it, this could be a very profitable move for them. Other game developers and publishers have boasted about the sales of their games on the platform, especially Lizard Cube. Wonder Boy and the Dragon’s Trap has sold more copies on the Switch than the other three platforms combined, meaning that gamers are definitely taking notice when companies make the effort to port their games over. While it’s ridiculous to expect Doom and Wolfenstein ll to perform in a similar fashion, it’s fair to assume that they could generate enough sales to let other triple-A developers know that the Switch is a worthy platform.
While most people buy Nintendo consoles for their incredible first party titles, it’s still important for third parties to show their support. Nintendo systems are normally thought of as a secondary platform; The Xbox/Playstation is meant for playing most of the current gen games whereas the Big N’s console is meant to only play Nintendo games. The Switch may be the first console to break that trend in a long time, as it’s promising third-party support may cause more gamers and publishers to start to take it seriously.
Outside these two announcements, there’s a lot that’s still shrouded in mystery. How will these two games perform? How will they look? How will they sell? The answers to these questions will undoubtedly affect whether or not more big publishers jump on the Switch bandwagon, however, it’s safe to say that things are certainly looking promising.