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Looking back, 3rd party support on the 3DS wasn't that great

Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Looking back, 3rd party support on the 3DS wasn't that great

Well I think we can call it the Japanese 3D bet display disaster. Back in 2010 almost all keita manufacturers and even Nintendo thought 3D is the next big thing. And then an American company named like a fruit conquered the market with apps and touchscreens.

I think the PS Vita was even a much stronger western approach to handheld gaming and even Sony didn't reached western game companies at that point. Given the time and the smartphone boom, many devs just didn't believed handhelds will still be a thing in the future and concentrated themselves on their core markets or started mobile gaming business sections, like EA, Ubisoft, 2k Games, Activision Blizzard, Bethesda and most recently even Nintendo did.



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TheMisterManGuy said:

Nintendo has typically been good about getting developers to support their handheld hardware, unlike the more spotty track record of their consoles. That being said, looking back in hindsight, the Nintendo 3DS was an anomaly in that for a Nintendo handheld, it was oddly lackluster in third party support, especially compared to the likes of the DS or GBA. 

First, western support took the biggest hit. Back in the DS days, you had everyone from EA, Ubisoft, even Rockstar releasing interesting stuff for the DS. Hell, the DS got versions of every CoD game since Modern Warfare. But with the 3DS, western developers dropped support for it as quickly as they took it up, and they never really picked it back up again either. Japanese developers fared a bit better, with Square Enix and Atlus heavily backing the system. But even that was a bit of a step back from the DS, as many of the more unique games the DS was known for were almost non-existent on the 3DS.

Even indie support was underwhelming. Due to the 3DS' lack of engine support and clunky hardware, many indie games skipped the platform altogether. So, yeah, the 3DS' 3rd party support was disappointing. I love the 3DS, it's up there with Nintendo's best on the first party side. But it's much more of a Nintendo box than some fans like to admit. At best, it's on par with the GameCube and Wii (that is okay, not great, not terrible), and at worst it's a massive step back from its predecessors. The Switch however looks to bring things back to DS and GBA levels of support, especially if more stuff like Octopath an Ninjala keep coming. 

Tbf, Atlus have 6 SMT games, 7 Etrian Odyssey games, Radiant Historia remake. Not to mention, the first time we have Persona game on Nin system with PQ1 & 2 though just spin off but still canon to the story, that is way more than DS, not really a step back. Level 5 support for it also is way better than DS. In 8 gen, Western support focus on smartphones, 3ds and vita only have some Western games at several first years and then, Japan games only for both and some indie games from the West. Named Octopath, you shouldn't ignore Bravely Default/Bravely Second. I agree that 3ds have 3rd party support worse than GBA/DS but not all are step back, it is a JRPG heaven



Mar1217 said:
3rd Party Japanese games were plenty on the console though ;) Also, I could just buy DS games to play since retrocompatibility is available, if I wanted (which I did)

 

JRPGfan said:

It had it the place where it was needed, in terms of RPGs :)

 

Look at what Atlus did for the 3DS:
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker
Shin Megami Tensei IV
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth

Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl (remake)
Etrian Odyssey II: Untold: The Fafnir Knight (remake)
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan
Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth

Etrian Mystery Dungeon I
Etrian Mystery Dungeon II

 

Plenty of 3rd party put in effort to help the 3DS.

 

HoangNhatAnh said:

Tbf, Atlus have 6 SMT games, 7 Etrian Odyssey games, Radiant Historia remake. Not to mention, the first time we have Persona game on Nin system with PQ1 & 2 though just spin off but still canon to the story, that is way more than DS, not really a step back. Level 5 support for it also is way better than DS. In 8 gen, Western support focus on smartphones, 3ds and vita only have some Western games at several first years and then, Japan games only for both and some indie games from the West. Named Octopath, you shouldn't ignore Bravely Default/Bravely Second. I agree that 3ds have 3rd party support worse than GBA/DS but not all are step back, it is a JRPG heaven

There were good third party games on 3DS, and yes a small few companies increased support. But for every Level 5 or Atlus, there were at least three Sega's or Ubisoft's who never took the console seriously for the most part. 3DS is much closer to the GameCube and Wii in that regard. Okay third party support, but not reliable enough for Nintendo fall back on, thus forcing them to produce much of the big titles themselves. 



*sarcasm* 3DS sucks! It didn't get all those shovelware games from Ubisoft, Rockstar, and EA! That's why I bought a Vita! *sarcasm*

For real though, OP is dissapointed with 3rd party support on the 3DS, because it didn't get CoD? CoD on handhelds has always been trash. If your tastes aren't refined enough to enjoy all the Square-Enix, and Atlus games then don't get a 3DS. 

Last edited by Cerebralbore101 - on 29 August 2018

That´s only true ..... if you just look to Western Developers. Activison (Skylanders) and Warner (Lego and Scribblenauts series) seem to be the few ones who kept supporting it regularly. EA launched a couple of FIFA games too.

On the other side , Japanese developers like Capcom, Atlus, Level 5, Square Enix, Sega, Namco etc. launched many games for the 3ds. Most of them exclusives.

Series like Monster Hunter, Professor Layton, Dragon Quest, Yokai Watch got very good sales, as well as some stand-alone releases, like Fantasy Life, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Megaten games, Etrian Odyssey etc. The system was a paradise for Jrpgs. Overall, it had great 3rd party support. Not exceptional, but great.

Last edited by Rogerioandrade - on 29 August 2018

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Meanwhile, I'm too busy getting hyped for Persona Q2.



I would say that the 3DS has a decent 3rd party library, but it's true that the DS and GBA had even better third party libraries. The biggest problem with the 3DS is that it stalled out of the gate, because it was priced too high, and there wasn't a killer app at launch. I can't blame some third parties looking elsewhere to make their money, and now 7+ years later we see that the 3DS really wasn't nearly as successful as the DS.

In spite of all that there are still a lot of good 3rd party games on the 3DS, especially from Japan. I mean the game library as a whole is a lot better than several of Nintendo's home consoles. But yeah it could have been better.



Rogerioandrade said:

That´s only true ..... if you just look to Western Developers. Activison (Skylanders) and Warner (Lego and Scribblenauts series) seem to be the few ones who kept supporting it regularly. EA launched a couple of FIFA games too.

On the other side , Japanese developers like Capcom, Atlus, Level 5, Square Enix, Sega, Namco etc. launched many games for the 3ds. Most of them exclusives.

Series like Monster Hunter, Professor Layton, Dragon Quest, Yokai Watch got very good sales, as well as some stand-alone releases, like Fantasy Life, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Megaten games, Etrian Odyssey etc. The system was a paradise for Jrpgs. Overall, it had great 3rd party support. Not exceptional, but great.

Even Japan support was lackluster. Capcom just released nothing but Monster Hunter with the occasional AA games after Resident Evil Revelations released. Square Enix just had mostly Dragon Quest remakes and the Bravely games. Atlus and Level 5 were 2 of the only companies who gave the 3DS consistent and varied support, rather than sticking to the same 2-3 franchises. Compared to the DS where Square Enix put out all sorts of games from Final Fantasy, to Mana, to The World Ends With You. 

There were great third party games on the 3DS, but It's hard to say it had great third party support in general since it was so limited in terms of variety. 



The heavy increase in the mobile market through the DS generation had a lot to do with it. Although devs still pushes to have their games on the DS because: A. the DS was still THE platform to make money on for low budget projects through its lifetime. Then the casual market shifted from DS to mobile largely due to the lucrative freemium market. Nintendo, unlike mobile carriers, didn’t allow pinch tactics.

Nintendo didn’t abandon the casual market as they still had Tomodachi Life, the 3DS Streetpass games, Nintendogs and Cats, and Animal Crossing. But the hardware was too weak compared to mobile, and Nintendo’s ethical stance on freemium and pinch tactics that were normal on mobile were too slow to budge.

Although I suppose that’s changed now: Switch has Fortnite which is a shooter freemium game with casual elements (by that, I mean it encourages shorter play sessions, and for users to return frequently for quests and such). Nintendo has also released a casual Fire Emblem on mobile that seems to be profitable.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

because the DS western parties migrated to app store. However, I think the 3DS had stellar 3rd party support...Ubisoft, Atlus, Capcom, Namco, NIS, Konami, Activison... a ton of 3rd parties released on it



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