In the latest issue of MCV, Takuro Yamashita (CEO) talks about NIS America’s strategy for the Nintendo Switch. He explains that they’re proactively porting games to the console, because Japanese companies are generally reluctant to do so. In fact, those ports (of both their own games and titles from other companies) is something they’re going to do during the next 2-3 years.
He also shares an anecdote about how SNK Heroines began as a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and ended up as a Nintendo Switch exclusive at retail (outside Japan):
Originally we signed with SNK on SNK Heroines just on the PS4 format. Then last year an opportunity happened at gamescom, two third parties happened to meet together outside Nintendo’s meeting room. The first meeting was between NIS America and Nintendo of Europe (NOE), and the next meeting was between SNK and NOE. Of course, these two were separate meetings. Then after their meeting influential people from SNK came to our booth and said “Hey Mr. Yamashita, is it possible to cancel our contract on PS4? Nintendo wants to work on this title on an exclusive basis! So these third parties came together and the team at NIS and SNK decided to go with Nintendo for the western market. Physical-copy-wise, it’s going to be a Nintendo Switch exclusive. PS4-wise, it’s going to be just digital. That’s the deal. We will not release a packaged version for PlayStation 4 format. Then Nintendo will act as a distributor for this game. Then they promised to buy a lot of units. I can’t reveal the number of units they’ve guaranteed, that’s secret talk.
But SNK Heroines isn’t the only game NIS America is partnering with Nintendo for, though Takuro Yamashita didn’t say which ones they are also working on at the moment. But one thing we do know is that their strategy is working pretty well at the moment: when there’s a simultaneous release, the Nintendo Switch version of a game tends to sell 2:1 compared to the PlayStation 4 version.
Even when the release is not simultaneous, games tend to sell pretty well on Nintendo Switch: Disgaea 5, for example, has sold a little under 200 000 units in the west.
In this interview, Takuro Yamashita explains that (for them), France is the biggest market for JRPG in Europe: that’s why they’ve started localising their games in French (that’s the case of Disgaea 5 Complete, for example).
Click here to check out the full interview!
Speaking of NIS America, they announced a couple of games for the Nintendo Switch last week. One of them is the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection, which is getting a Limited Edition (available on the official SNK Online Store). It costs $64.99, and includes the following:
- a copy of the game
- “Nostalgic Music Collection” Soundtrack
- “40th Anniversary Art Collection” Hardcover Art Book
- Collector’s Box
Here’s what it looks like:
SNK 40th Anniversary Collection (Switch) comes out this Fall in Europe and North America.