Third party support is a crucial element for any platform that hopes to be successful. PlayStation and Xbox have had solid third party support in the past, and so has Nintendo with many of its systems. However, Wii U is a platform that struggled to gain third party support and Switch will hopefully change things moving forward.
Switch’s third party support will be an important factor in the console’s ultimate success. Surely, there are many other factors that play into a system’s success, but this will be key. So far, many publishers like Bethesda, EA, Ubisoft and Square Enix have shown initial support for Switch.
When you take a look at Switch’s confirmed lineup of games, you have to be happy with things thus far. Nintendo knows Switch’s third party support is essential and they believe the platform caters to a third party publisher’s needs. Reggie Fils-Aime, who is Nintendo of America’s president, spoke about a few factors related to third party support.
“From a third party perspective, I don’t want to oversimplify things, but third party developers look for a handful of things. First, they look for a straightforward development environment in order to create their games. And that was one of the challenges with Wii U. Now with Nintendo Switch, we have Unity as a platform. We’ve got the Unreal Engine as a platform. These are known development environments for content creators to build content.
“The second thing they look for is a consumer demographic that’s going to meet their needs for the content they’re creating. And so again, you’ve got Zelda for the core. You’ve got 1-2 Switch for the family audience. You’ve got Arms. You’ve got Splatoon. You’ve got Mario Kart 8. You’ve got Super Mario Odyssey. That looks like a pretty wide and diverse audience to build content for,” Fils-Aime told Time.
First party titles are certainly going to be important to please Nintendo fans early on. The list of exclusives coming to Switch within its first year is outstanding. Couple that with solid third party support and you have the makings of a successful platform altogether.
However, development ease and first party support aren’t all that goes into appeasing third party developers. Fils-Aime detailed several other factors that will play into Switch’s third party support.
“And third, they look for a large install base. That’s what we’re trying to create. And then lastly, they look for a full range of ways to monetize their investment. And that’s where having a robust online environment comes in. And again we are pushing the envelope, we’re doing things differently, and we’re working hard to make sure that environment exists.
“So as an executive for the company, I believe we’re doing everything we need to, to create that environment for third parties. So far they’re reacting extremely positively. Bethesda hasn’t been on a Nintendo platform. A fully featured FIFA, that has not been on a Nintendo console in some time,” Fils-Aime said.
So much goes into a platform’s ascent or descent and third party support is just one factor. As of now, Switch is setting up far better than the Wii U did leading up to its launch. Nintendo will release their new console this coming March 3. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Nintendo.