Scott Hawkins, head of the developer relations team at Nintendo of America, delivered a talk during BIG Digital 2020. His presentation was primarily aimed at studios potentially interested in bringing their games to Switch, but he also shared an interesting anecdote about Mortal Kombat 11.
While Mortal Kombat 11 was in early development on Switch, Hawkins met with the team and was chatting with an executive at Warner Bros. We don’t know who exactly this person was, but they were “concerned because it’s a mature-rated title that it wouldn’t be Nintendo-friendly.” Mortal Kombat 11 was ultimately “a big success” on Switch, so Hawkins used this story to demonstrate that you can find “an audience for lots of different types of content on the platform”.
“When Warner Bros. got the first playable build of Mortal Kombat 11 up and running on Nintendo Switch, I flew down and met with the team down in southern California. One of the executives there was meeting with me and showing me the game, and we were playing it, and he looks at me and he says, ‘Scott, are you sure Nintendo wants this game on Nintendo Switch?’ And I said, ‘Yes, we absolutely want this game.’
He was concerned because it’s a mature-rated title that it wouldn’t be Nintendo-friendly. But clearly after seeing the first month’s worth of sales and see it be the number one game on the platform, it shows that yes, there is an audience. There’s an audience for lots of different types of content on the platform, and this was a big success.”
The decision to put Mortal Kombat 11 on Switch did seem to pay off. When it launched in April 2019, it was the best-selling game on Nintendo’s console for the month in the United States.
Do you think developers and publishers have this or other preconceptions when it comes to releasing third party games on Nintendo's devices?