So I was reading the "The Switch's Growing Third Party Problem" article (here https://www.vgchartz.com/article/449937/the-switchs-growing-third-party-problem/)
at first, I was like "oh, good call, let's see some bold claims about the matter". And then, I went through the entire article, and I think this is the worst (or even the only bad) article ever published on VGChartz.
I mean, you can take almost every single phrase and write a paragraph about why the statement is wrong. We have facts here, we track stuff, so I don't know how something this inaccurate managed to be published.
The Switch missed out on most of the big third party announcements at E3, and indeed has done for a few months now. Most major games third party games won't be getting a Switch version, including Lost Judgment, Elden Ring, Tales of Arise, Rainbow Six Extraction, Diablo IV, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles, Far Cry 6, Battlefield 2042, King of Fighters XV, GRID Legends, Dead Space Remake, and of course Final Fantasy XVI. I've obviously omitted a lot of lower profile releases that are also only coming to PlayStation and/or Xbox platforms there. It's clear that the Switch is going to progressively fall behind in terms of the amount of major new releases.
Is it me or a huge chunk of these games haven't been announced at E3 this year ? I mean, we have bunch of series that never been on the Switch (Far Cry, Battlefield, Rainbow Six, Judgment) and even a PS5 exclusive (Final Fantasy XVI). At this point, why not mention Forza Horizon and Returnal as well, these games won't come to the Switch either.
And in the opposite, one of the biggest game at E3 this year is Mario + Rabbids 2, which is a Switch exclusive. I mean, E3 this year was all about Microsoft and Nintendo exclsuvies, starting by mentioning E3 and mentioning specific (non-E3) games that won't appear on the Switch to "prove" a narrative is nonsense.
The Nintendo E3 Direct did reveal some new third party games, including Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, and Life is Strange: True Colors, but just a handful, and outside of those we were only treated to some very late ports (Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, Danganronpa Decadence, and Life is Strange Remastered Collection). The Switch is still a hot item for consumers, but no so much for major third party publishers, where a clear trend is starting to emerge - that of third parties providing few games for Switch but a fairly consistent number of new high-profile titles for Xbox and PlayStation platforms. It's a major failure for Nintendo and its third party relations that, even after four years of incredible sales success, the manufacturer is unable to cultivate a diverse and ambitious line-up from them.
First of all, there is no "clear trend starting to emerge" regarding 3rd parties, it was worst at the beginning, starting to get better in 2019, and now we have games releasing in a similar launch window as other games, including Life Is Strange Remastered Collection which isn't a late port, as stated, but a collection that will release on all platforms late september this year. And of course 3rd parties will primarly focus on Xbox and Playstation, but that's not an emerging trend, that always been the case for the past 20 years, and it is actually way better with the Switch.
I mean, we got Bethesda releasing its AAA games on the Switch, even Microsoft publishing its exclusive games.
But the core gaming market is a different story even in Japan and, despite the Switch's solid foothold in its home country, even smaller third parties are beginning to hesitate on this front. Aquaplus is making Utawarerumono Zan 2 for PS4 and PS5 only. Kadokawa, despite releasing numerous Switch titles up until now, has gone PlayStation-only for its newest IP, Relayer. Falcom has been contracting with Nippon Ichi Software for Switch ports, but still won't jump on the Switch bandwagon for Kuro no Kiseki. The next mainline entry in The Legend of Heroes series will also be PS4-only at launch, following a lengthy period of time when the platform of choice was "undecided". No single port of Ys or The Legend of Heroes for Switch has managed to sell more than 10,000 units in Japan (less than 10% of the total audience for those titles), which probably explains the decision.
The Nintendo Switch is a huge success in Japan, and every week we see almost all top 10 and top 30 filled with nothing but Switch games. And yet, you take some PS Vita licence to "prove" that Switch 3rd party sales in Japan is not that great. I mean, do you even read VGChartz or Famitsu sales ?
Of course, the Switch does have third party exclusives, but is time running out on these? One recent major exclusive is Monster Hunter Rise, which has had a strong start (seven million shipped), but the gap between it and the multiplatform Monster Hunter World (17 million shipped, plus an additional 7.7 million for Iceborne) remains large. Isn't it more likely that Capcom will decide to opt for the larger PlayStation, Xbox, and PC market next time?
And one of the biggest issues here: Comparing Monster Hunter Rise sales with World, with the (very very false) conclusion that World, released in January 2018, sold more than Rise (released 4 month ago) because it was multiplatform. I don't really need to explain why this conclusion is absolutely nonsense I think.
It's not just Ubisoft, either. Warner's Mortal Kombat 11 had an estimated market share of just 4.2% on Switch in the UK, and also fell faster than PS4 and Xbox versions in NPD rankings. Bethesda's Doom Eternal failed to chart in European eShop rankings when it eventually released on the hybrid system, showing little sales potential for shooters amongst Nintendo's audience. But I think the most striking example is that of The Outer Worlds - when it was ported to Switch in June 2020 it ranked 30th in the combined UK chart, the same week that 51 Worldwide Games took 6th place.
Here, using UK charts as a proof is as relevant as using japanese charts to prove lack of success of Xbox brand, nobody does that, because that wouldn't make any sense.
In other words, Switch players would rather play chess from Nintendo than pick up an ambitious third party port. There couldn't be a more negative message for those third parties that are working hard to push the boundaries of gaming experiences and offer them to Switch gamers.
This is the funny part: at the beginning, the games were criticized for being "late ports", and now they become "ambitious thiry party port" to fit the narrative. No, The Outer World was a very bad port, it got patched but didn't do miracles. It's like stating nobody is interested in RPG on PS4 due to Cyberpunk's sales on the console, despite being pulled out on the PSN.
Unlike Sony and Microsoft, who make hardware decisions while taking into account feedback from a wide range of developers, Nintendo makes hardware for its own needs and based around its own specific strategy.
This is just ignorance, Capcom reported that they asked Nintendo to have a 4Gb RAM for the Switch in order to run the RE Engine, cause OF COURSE they listen feedback from third party developers.
A final and perhaps most telling example comes courtesy of what many consider to be one of the Switch's third party success stories - The Witcher III. As pointed out by French video game site JeuxVideo, you need to wait up to one minute and thirty seconds to retry after a game over. In the era of SSD drives, the Switch's prospects in terms of third party games can be illustrated by the following question: who in their right mind will want to go back from instant loading to waiting one minute and thirty seconds to respawn?
Ok now are we still talking about 3rd party support on the Switch or loading times on games ? I mean, what ?
However, cloud gaming is not a product but rather a service; you no longer own the games, you can't re-sell them, and performance is heavily dependent on your online environment and on the service continuing. Even if could gaming is considered the way forward for gamers, aren't they more likely to opt for Microsoft's superior Game Pass system?
Well first, I don't know how you can resell digital games, but anyway.
And regarding Game Pass, are we still talking about Switch 3rd party support ? I mean, this is not a pot-pourri, you cannot put everything you have in mind, you need to follow one specific topic.
There's another factor that makes the Switch less essential for third parties, and the answer is probably in your pocket. A lot of big gaming companies are making large sums of money from smartphone games, to such an extent that we're starting to see games and series being divided into high-end games (on PC/PlayStation/Xbox) and free-to-play mobile releases (on smartphones and sometimes PC). This has been the case with Final Fantasy, Sword Art Online, Tales of, Utawarerumono, Kingdom Hearts, NieR, Call of Duty, and many, many more franchises. The Switch is in an awkward position here - it has neither the power of rival consoles, especially the PS5 and XS, nor the vast install base of phones. Apple ships more iPhones every year than the Switch (or any other dedicated handheld) will sell in its lifetime, hence the shift in focus away from dedicated handhelds.
The "Switch won't succeed because of the mobile market" thing wasn't a thing in 2017, it won't be a thing now, sorry.
Considering all of this, the Switch Pro was beginning to look like a critical item for the Switch's future, at least for third parties. But now it's been officially denied with the unveiling of the Switch OLED, a new iteration without any power or technological upgrade.
Do you know what "technological" means ? Cause putting an bigger OLED screen is a technological upgrade.
Now it feels like Nintendo needs a Switch PROLED model if it's to make progress with third parties and thus have a relevant and drought-free software line-up in the months and years to come.
This was already a prediction back in 2009, in 2016 and still people say this kind of stuff, I don't understand.
I believe that Nintendo is progressively running out of time to appeal beyond its traditional base and the casual audience.
You clearly have no idea at all on the actual Switch audience.
The Switch is starting to look very much comparable to the Wii. Both were smashing sales successes that gave rise to a lot of enthusiasm at first, but eventually resulted in disillusioned third parties, new release drought, and a demoralized fanbase. From my perspective Nintendo seems to be repeating the same mistakes it made in the middle of the Wii era, by being technology-adverse, persisting with outdated hardware, and failing to capitalise on incredible sales figures by building up third party relations and ensuring a steady stream of AAA software support.
And that's the nail in the coffin: the absolute nonsense. We have a huge line up of games coming, a new Zelda game, a new Bayonetta game, a new Mario + Rabbids game, a new Pokémon game, a new Splatoon game, and you see droughts. There are more and more 3rd party games, the console will probably have the biggest game library a console ever had (way beyond Wii library), and you think it repeats the same mistakes as the Wii.
I mean even Michael Pachter wouldn't come up with this kind of nonsense.