Nintendo has been, bar none, the most important company int he history of video gaming. From the original NES to the Nintendo Switch currently on pace to become the highest-selling console of all time, Nintendo has been there. The Japanese gaming company has been well known throughout the years for their strong first-party intellectual property and their approach to changing the very way we actually play video games through new tech developments. However, despite these strengths, Nintendo has always had trouble embracing independent gaming developers into their library. This problem reached a fever-pitch on the Wii U which struggled mightily for a lack of third-party titles. With the Nintendo Switch, finally, Nintendo may be changing their ways. A recent decision to embrace third-party developers might bring Nintendo to the very top of the gaming food chain.
Nintendo has always had rock-solid IP thanks to the early foundation that games like Mario, Animal Crossing, and Pokemon have helped to lay down. However, Nintendo has needed a breath of fresh air in the worst way and after seeing the success that platforms like Steam and Xbox have had with indie developers, it only made sense for Nintendo to follow suit. One of the biggest benefits that Nintendo has in their pursuit of third-party support has come by way of the reception that the Nintendo Switch has garnered. The Nintendo Switch exploded upon release and quickly became THE video game story of 2017. The console is on pace to outsell the PlayStation 2, the current best-selling console of all time, for its first-year pace. The Switch, as noted by Nintendo developers, is a shiny new toy that can surely bring attention to indie teams looking for a new platform.
Damon Baker works for Nintendo in the partner management division for relationships between publishers and developers. He has been uniquely involved in helping to spearhead Nintendo’s recent indie revival. Baker reveals that the Nintendo Switch is seen as a friendly platform that looks attractive to developers thanks to its power and simplicity of use. Baker goes on to say, “I think it’s the perfect platform for pick-up-and-play as people are going on the bus or on planes.” Baker knows that Nintendo is on to something special here and if enough indie developers realize it, we could see a return of the famous Console Wars that dominated the early ’00s thus leading to another golden era of gaming.