Nintendo’s Switch – Not the Savior of 3rd Party Developers

Nintendo’s Switch was probably one of the biggest surprise of 2017. Despite lackluster sentiment amongst gamers prior to launch, the console managed to shock analysts and become the best-selling console of 2017 and Nintendo’s fastest selling console. One of the things that have greatly contributed to the sales of the Switch, was the announcement that it would support a wide array of 3rd party publishers and indie developers.

Nintendo’s performance so far

As per December 2017, Nintendo has kept good on its promise and has released an impressive library of games for the Switch. Nearly 350 games have been released with a wide majority of them being 3rd party releases and ports. This is a massive library for a console launched less than a year ago. However, not all is well for 3rd party developers for the Switch. According to the Japanese video game journalism site Dengeki, over 80% of all game sales on the Switch are for in-house Nintendo titles. In other words, 8 Nintendo games account for over 80.7% of all game sales, out of a library of 350 available games.

Gamer’s response

Many gamers have complained that the 3rd party releases on the Switch are very low-quality games or older games that have been ported to the Switch, hence explaining their poor sales. Others have claimed that 3rd party sales will improve with time.

The Future of 3rd party releases on Nintendo

One can only assume that if the trend of poor sales for 3rd party games on the Switch continues, then fewer and fewer 3rd party games will be released on Nintendo’s platform. Indie developers and others will most likely turn to other platforms to release their games. This outcome is even more likely since Nintendo charges 3rd party developers much higher rates per release. Sony and Microsoft charge roughly about $6-7 per box sales and 30% of digital sales. Nintendo charges $8-20 per cartridge and 30% digital sales.

How Game Protocol fits in

Unlike Nintendo, Game Protocol will not be able prioritize the way games are displayed in its store due to the decentralized nature of Game Protocol’s Game Store. Our platform is tailor-made for small to mid-size developers. Fees on the Game Protocol’s platform will also be significantly lower than others. In the event that 3rd party developers stop developing games for the Nintendo Switch, Game Protocol will accept them in open arms.