Today, Ubisoft announced a brand-new game title coming to Nintendo Switch. The famous board game Monopoly will take up its gaming form when it releases on Switch this coming fall. No release date was given by Ubisoft, but expect a date to be named later this year.
Monopoly actually fits well with the Switch’s nifty portability. Gamers can play with up to six players online or offline. They will unlock rewards and bonuses as they play. This game makes all the sense in the world to be a Switch title. Plus, it is one in which Ubisoft can say, “see? We gave you another new title. We are supporting the Switch.”
All of this is indicative of an emerging trend that I am seeing with third party support. Publishers are clearly not convinced with Switch’s mass marketability just yet. A wait-and-see approach is still being implemented by many companies. Ubisoft supported Switch at launch with titles like Just Dance and even Steep. Now, they will be bringing Monopoly to the system this fall.
What is most telling from Ubisoft’s recent releases is how games like Ghost Recon Wildlands and For Honor are only PS4, Xbox One and PC titles. No Switch versions of these games have been made, nor are any known to be in development. These are the types of games that would indicate strong third party support had they been announced in some capacity for Switch.
Other releases like Mass Effect Andromeda and, the upcoming title, Prey are not coming to Switch, or at least haven’t been confirmed to be. The recently announced open-world title Middle-earth: Shadow of War isn’t coming to Switch either. Deep Silver’s Agents of Mayhem isn’t coming to Switch. You can look at just about every major third party publisher and point to a major game they have upcoming and say it isn’t coming to Switch.
The wait-and-see approach many companies are taking is a product of the Wii U’s early struggles. If Switch continues to sell as well as it has for the next few years, then surely third party publishers will jump on the bandwagon. It would be silly business tactics not to. Unless they’re total flops, most gaming systems sell well during their early days. It is the months and years after launch that are most telling about a console.
Nintendo is lining up a slew of exciting Switch exclusives over the course of this year and next. These will help feed a pipeline of must-have content that the system needs in order to keep selling. If we are talking about good sales trends this time next year for Switch, then I believe we’ll be looking at a different picture from a third party standpoint.
It is still very early days for the Switch and all signs so far seem to be pointing toward positive sales and great first party games. E3 2017 will surely be telling for the console, and perhaps Nintendo will have some key third party announcements to make. If that happens, perspectives about the console will undoubtedly shift in Nintendo’s favor. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Switch.
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