Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Bethesda about Switch support and development

Some very interesting insight, of Bethesda support and view of Switch.

 

Hines shared the following:

“So we did get to see a pretty early prototype of the Switch sometime before they announced it and I think from them we were pretty well sold on the idea. For one thing, we couldn’t have a platform without Skyrim on it, so… but myself and Todd Howard and Todd Vaughn and a few other folks in the company saw it and they had some rough demos.

But I mean, for us we’re all gamers for life. I’ve been playing since I was 12 or 10 or whatever it was and the idea, like I remember having a SEGA Nomad for a period of time back in the early days of my career at other places and the idea of having games on the go, being able to play a SEGA Genesis game on a plane with the massive battery pack that I had to have on the back to give it another hour charge.

So the idea of being able to take something like what we did, looking at the tech specs, and going, ‘That’s actually really close to like what we kind of do now.’ That was always the big barrier for us with Nintendo stuff. It wasn’t that we didn’t like the Wii or we don’t like this, it was just this is the stuff that we make, and as many things as will run that, we’ll do it. So as we looked at the specs, we started looking at games like Skyrim and Doom and Wolfenstein, and we were fortunate enough to either have really talented devs who were also very keen on making it which I think is important or finding a great partner in Panic Button who had the ability to take what we were doing and say, ‘Yeah we can make that happen on a Switch.’

And we just think it’s a really cool piece of tech… Nintendo still does really well with Nintendo things. Don’t get me wrong. Everybody else is a distant second, but you can still be in really good shape being a distant second on the Switch because so many people are buying it and playing it, and so again, they’ve been great partners with us, they’ve been very enthusiastic. And we’re very enthusiastic. Again to my point, that’s a whole audience that really doesn’t know us very well in terms of games on their platforms, so the chance to bring what it is we do to them has been awesome and fun and rewarding and we’re going to keep doing it.”

Later during the panel, Hines revealed that as id Tech 6 was in the works alongside Doom 2016, the team kept Switch in mind during development so that a port would be possible. This has also paved the way for the Wolfenstein games on the platform as well as the upcoming Doom Eternal.

Hines said:

“The benefit for us was that id Tech 6 was really built and we knew about the Switch during the development of Doom 2016, so they were able to make some choices to make sure that it was scalable so that it would sort of not be too far out of line with what the Switch was doing. The benefit there was that it allowed both Doom 2016 to happen on the Switch as well as Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, because that was built off of the tech that ran Doom 2016 so that was sort of a two for one there, and that’s also why the next Wolfenstein is gonna be out on Switch as well and that’s why Doom Eternal was announced. In that case not just as a port, but as something that for the first time we’re building a game from scratch that really has the Switch in mind. That was honestly… that tech allowed us to do a lot of things across two different franchises. I don’t know how the hell they made Skyrim run on the Switch, but they did it. It looks great, it’s fun. I have played more Skyrim than a lot of people, but I still play it on my Switch because it turns out it’s pretty cool to be sitting on a plane and fighting a dragon.”

Hines later added the following when asked about what discussions with Nintendo were like given that Bethesda’s games mainly target a mature audience:

“Well I can tell you one of the first things they said was, ‘Hey, do you have anything where there’s not a lot of blood and violence? Because there’s a lot of blood and violence.’ And we were like, ‘Yeah, there’s this (Fallout) Shelter thing, it’s cute and cartoony – we’ll do that too.’ But our belief – and it has been proven out in discussions with them as recently as… either last week or the week before – they came out and we caught up with them and in terms of their demographics, getting older. Guys like us are still playing games and playing stuff on Switch, so their stuff has traditionally skewed pretty young, but you can start to seeing that curve moving up, 18 to 24. I’m really close to that 50 and up bracket and like it used to be that there were no people in that age range for Nintendo devices, and now there is, and it turns out there’s a pretty good number and those folks are looking to play games. So having stuff that’s more mature both serves them really well and helps us continue to serve an audience that’s looking for games, that has disposable income, that says, ‘OK, I’ve played Zelda, I’ve played Super Mario World, what else is there for me to do?'”

 

Finally, Hines shared an interesting note on ports, remasters, and remakes. He acknowledged fan interest in things like Fallout 3 on Switch, but indicated that these types of projects are unlikely. That’s because it takes a lot of work to get older games working on new platforms, and teams are better off (and more interested in) focusing on new games instead of working with past releases.

https://nintendoeverything.com/bethesda-only-tech-specs-were-holding-back-past-nintendo-support-kept-switch-in-mind-for-dooms-development-more/

 



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Interesting read.



General gamer, fanboy hater

 

Finally, Hines shared an interesting note on ports, remasters, and remakes. He acknowledged fan interest in things like Fallout 3 on Switch, but indicated that these types of projects are unlikely. That’s because it takes a lot of work to get older games working on new platforms, and teams are better off (and more interested in) focusing on new games instead of working with past releases.

I understand that, but I think for hugely popular older titles, Nintendo should kick in and fund those projects. New Vegas on the Switch, for example, would make butt loads of money.  



Seems fairly honest, for the most part. However, saying that the technology difference has always been the big barrier goes contrary to what he said in the past, when he roasted Nintendo for their lack of communication and for just saying, "here is the console we made, go make games for it."

Still, it seems really, really obvious that someone at Nintendo figured out that communication with western developers is kind of important. Maybe it was just as simple as getting the old guard out of the way. Regardless, the difference is apparent if Pete Hines is now talking about regular meetings with Nintendo.

He's also absolutely right about the idea that "you can still be in really good shape being a distant second." It doesn't matter how well someone else is doing if you're still turning a solid profit or growing your business.



Interesting, but as always with Bethesda interviews, they start by saying "we ported Doom and Wolfenstein and Skyrim, they did great, we will support the console in the future" so that part isn't really interesting. But the fact that id Tech 6 was made with the Switch in mind is a great thing.



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pokoko said:
Seems fairly honest, for the most part. However, saying that the technology difference has always been the big barrier goes contrary to what he said in the past, when he roasted Nintendo for their lack of communication and for just saying, "here is the console we made, go make games for it."

Still, it seems really, really obvious that someone at Nintendo figured out that communication with western developers is kind of important. Maybe it was just as simple as getting the old guard out of the way. Regardless, the difference is apparent if Pete Hines is now talking about regular meetings with Nintendo.

He's also absolutely right about the idea that "you can still be in really good shape being a distant second." It doesn't matter how well someone else is doing if you're still turning a solid profit or growing your business.

Things aren't adding up because what has been said in the past wasn't really true. It isn't obvious at all that someone at Nintendo figured out that communication with western developers is important, because aside from Bethesda there is barely anything else coming to Switch. Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Warner Bros., Activision... their IPs are largely missing and it doesn't look like that will change. This leads to the conclusion that Nintendo hasn't changed, but rather that Bethesda has changed.

Bethesda couldn't say that technology difference is the reason why they weren't bringing games to Wii U, because at the time their games were made for PS3 and 360. That's why they overexaggerated something else to direct the blame to Nintendo, and at the time of making that decision they couldn't say "Wii U sales" because the console had yet to launch. Ultimately, their reason not to make games for a Nintendo console was as simple as "we don't want to," but such honesty would generate bad PR for them. That's why third parties in general jumped back and forth between their reasons for not making games for Nintendo consoles, because it's not always the same excuse that is the most convenient one.

Conversely, now that Bethesda is making games for Nintendo, they overexaggerate how good their relationship with Nintendo is because it's good PR. What has changed over the years is that development times have increased and companies need to adapt to it. Western AAA third party publishers have shifted their focus towards online multiplayer and microtransaction to increase their cashflow, but not so Bethesda who still value single-player games. Such a direction necessitates that all platforms get serious consideration, because releases on more platforms mean more cashflow while The Elder Scrolls VI and others are in lengthy development. As such, the "we don't want to" changes to "we'd like to" because that makes it more manageable to continue to make the games they want to make.

Similar observations can be made for various Japanese third parties. There are too many inconsistencies to believe that Nintendo has changed in a significant way, rather it's the changing circumstances in game development and the video game market as a whole that made third parties rethink their stance towards Nintendo consoles.



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RolStoppable said:
pokoko said:
Seems fairly honest, for the most part. However, saying that the technology difference has always been the big barrier goes contrary to what he said in the past, when he roasted Nintendo for their lack of communication and for just saying, "here is the console we made, go make games for it."

Still, it seems really, really obvious that someone at Nintendo figured out that communication with western developers is kind of important. Maybe it was just as simple as getting the old guard out of the way. Regardless, the difference is apparent if Pete Hines is now talking about regular meetings with Nintendo.

He's also absolutely right about the idea that "you can still be in really good shape being a distant second." It doesn't matter how well someone else is doing if you're still turning a solid profit or growing your business.

Things aren't adding up because what has been said in the past wasn't really true. It isn't obvious at all that someone at Nintendo figured out that communication with western developers is important, because aside from Bethesda there is barely anything else coming to Switch. Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Warner Bros., Activision... their IPs are largely missing and it doesn't look like that will change. This leads to the conclusion that Nintendo hasn't changed, but rather that Bethesda has changed.

Bethesda couldn't say that technology difference is the reason why they weren't bringing games to Wii U, because at the time their games were made for PS3 and 360. That's why they overexaggerated something else to direct the blame to Nintendo, and at the time of making that decision they couldn't say "Wii U sales" because the console had yet to launch. Ultimately, their reason not to make games for a Nintendo console was as simple as "we don't want to," but such honesty would generate bad PR for them. That's why third parties in general jumped back and forth between their reasons for not making games for Nintendo consoles, because it's not always the same excuse that is the most convenient one.

Conversely, now that Bethesda is making games for Nintendo, they overexaggerate how good their relationship with Nintendo is because it's good PR. What has changed over the years is that development times have increased and companies need to adapt to it. Western AAA third party publishers have shifted their focus towards online multiplayer and microtransaction to increase their cashflow, but not so Bethesda who still value single-player games. Such a direction necessitates that all platforms get serious consideration, because releases on more platforms mean more cashflow while The Elder Scrolls VI and others are in lengthy development. As such, the "we don't want to" changes to "we'd like to" because that makes it more manageable to continue to make the games they want to make.

Similar observations can be made for various Japanese third parties. There are too many inconsistencies to believe that Nintendo has changed in a significant way, rather it's the changing circumstances in game development and the video game market as a whole that made third parties rethink their stance towards Nintendo consoles.

You're going to believe what you want but I absolutely believed Pete Hines when he he talked about Nintendo at E3.  That was as honest as I've ever seen a PR guy get.  In my opinion, that was real.  He meant what he said then, even if he had to cover it over later.



I really appreciate their honesty and attitude towards the platform. And I am still baffled that Bethesda has outdone companies like Capcom, Namco Bandai and Konami on the Switch. I mean what were they thinking?



Kristof81 said:

 

Finally, Hines shared an interesting note on ports, remasters, and remakes. He acknowledged fan interest in things like Fallout 3 on Switch, but indicated that these types of projects are unlikely. That’s because it takes a lot of work to get older games working on new platforms, and teams are better off (and more interested in) focusing on new games instead of working with past releases.

I understand that, but I think for hugely popular older titles, Nintendo should kick in and fund those projects. New Vegas on the Switch, for example, would make butt loads of money.  

Would it though?  It would probably sell pretty well to people that hang out in gaming forums.  But, does that average Switch owner really care about playing that game?   How about the average Fallout fan... do they want to rebuy a game they finished years ago?  Do they even own a Switch?  Certainly some of them would buy it.  But, how many, really?

Skyrim worked out, it seems.  So, I guess it is possible that an older Fallout game could work on Switch as well.  But, I'd say Skyrim is on a bit of a higher level than Fallout New Vegas, or even Fallout 3, insofar as it is a modern classic. The Fallout games are bigtime, but I don't see any of them as Skyrim level, in terms of popularity and significance in gaming culture.  



VAMatt said:
Kristof81 said:

I understand that, but I think for hugely popular older titles, Nintendo should kick in and fund those projects. New Vegas on the Switch, for example, would make butt loads of money.  

Would it though?  It would probably sell pretty well to people that hang out in gaming forums.  But, does that average Switch owner really care about playing that game?   How about the average Fallout fan... do they want to rebuy a game they finished years ago?  Do they even own a Switch?  Certainly some of them would buy it.  But, how many, really?

Skyrim worked out, it seems.  So, I guess it is possible that an older Fallout game could work on Switch as well.  But, I'd say Skyrim is on a bit of a higher level than Fallout New Vegas, or even Fallout 3, insofar as it is a modern classic. The Fallout games are bigtime, but I don't see any of them as Skyrim level, in terms of popularity and significance in gaming culture.  

New Vegas in particular, would, at least to the point where they could get a return on their investment. Considering that it hasn't been yet re-released on the current gen consoles, it'd for sure attract new customers (the power of exclusivity), especially if it wouldn't be one off.