This week, Nintendo revealed a lot of indie games that are coming soon to the Nintendo Switch. And yet, there are still many indie developers that do not have access to a devkit. The reason? Nintendo decided to go with a different approach with the Nintendo Switch: they chose to focus on quality, instead of quantity like they did on the Wii U.
But even trying to get as much content out as possible didn’t work with the Wii U: the post-launch drought is proof of that, and Nintendo ended up with only 32 titles during the first three months (instead of the 50 initially planned). One of the reasons of that drought is the fact that developers were not quite sure which features to focus on.
They don’t really have that issue with the Nintendo Switch: it’s a home console you can take with you on the go. Simple as that. The message to both customers and developers is crystal-clear, and it’s resonated pretty well with both groups of people so far. This allowed Nintendo to communicate what the Switch was all about even before they began distributing devkits.
Damon Baker also explained that Nintendo is currently being pretty selective about who gets a devkit. It’s the total opposite of the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS, where they tried to get as many developers on board as possible. But for the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo decided to go with a more conservative approach:
This time around, we’re going to be a lot more conservative. We don’t want to open up the floodgates quite yet.
The thing is, Nintendo has limited resources, which is why they decided to focus on small publishers (with several potential games), as opposed to individual developers:
We’ve got limited resources on our side as well. I wish we had a team of a hundred account managers that could give every single developer and publisher the attention they deserve, but we’re lean and mean as we always have been at Nintendo.
Naturally, that doesn’t mean Nintendo is become less open with indies… quite the opposite. They’ve been attending pretty much all the developers conferences and trade shows, they’ve been protactive in establishing relationships with developers, and more.
As you can imagine, this didn’t happen overnight, but right now, we’re finally starting to see that strategy bear fruit.
Click here to check out the full interview with Damon Baker, over at Gamasutra.