“People forget that Switch is only experiencing its second holiday.”
At The Game Awards last week, Nintendo made a splash with some of the biggest surprises of the night, including Persona 5’s Joker joining Smash Bros. Ultimate and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 coming exclusively to Switch.
But some of the biggest multiplatform games receiving honors that night like Red Dead Redemption 2 or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey aren’t available on Nintendo’s console.
Following the show, I spoke to Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime about Switch’s third party gaps, which he attributes to the Switch’s relatively recent launch compared to other platforms.
“The way this industry works, games are in development for multiple years. People forget that Switch is only experiencing its second holiday. So many, many games that are just launching were well in development before any conversations were had with these developers regarding Nintendo Switch,” Fils-Aime told IGN. “It’s difficult midstream to make significant changes in your development time table.”
Many games that are just launching were well in development before any conversations were had with these developers regarding Nintendo Switch.
“So absolutely, now that we’ve been in the marketplace coming up on two years, now that we’ve shown the pace with which we’re growing an install base, and doing it globally, that’s the other piece that is meaningful for developers,” he said. “Our strength in the Americas, our strength in Asia, our strength in Europe is critically important. That’s what creates the opportunity for developers to make sure their content is available on Switch at the earliest opportunity.”
As for what is on Switch, Fils-Aime pointed to Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 as a potential big success for Switch next year, as well as some of the independent titles that received awards at this year’s Game Awards.
“Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. I love the reactions. We go and we look at some of the videos of consumer reactions, really positive consumer reactions. We think that’s going to be a really, really strong driver for us when that launches next year. We’re also thrilled to see the strength of the independent developer community on display [at The Game Awards]. Celeste, Overcooked 2, both available on our platform,” he said.
“So for us, it really exemplified the momentum we have and the strength of our business right now. Even our dedicated handheld business continues to perform well. The two Nintendo Classic systems out in the marketplace for this holiday. We are well positioned now, we are well positioned for the future. And it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
For more from our interview with Fils-Aime, read why Joker is emblematic of Smash Bros. Ultimate’s DLC approach and why E3 is still important to Nintendo.
Andrew is IGN’s executive editor of news and is just so happy to be able to play big games on planes. You can find him rambling about Persona and cute animals on Twitter.