Thankfully, the advent of the Switch, as well as developers like Panic Button, has changed that.
One of the unlikeliest partnership we have seen in the last few years has been that of Nintendo and Bethesda. After all, in the years before the Switch, Bethesda had never released any game for a Nintendo console. They had stuck with PlayStation and Xbox entirely, with Nintendo consoles not even getting spin offs or downports. And now, Bethesda is without a doubt the most ardent and enthusiastic third party supporter of the Switch. How did this happen?
Speaking at PAX Australia 2018 (via Nintendo Everything), Bethesda’s SVP of Marketing Pete Hines confirmed that the previous lack of Nintendo releases wasn’t because Bethesda had a personal grudge against Nintendo or anything, but simply because their games would not fit or work on Nintendo’s hardware. This is something that has changed with the Switch, as well as studios like Panic Button, who have been able to handle porting Bethesda’s games to the system with minimal compromises.
“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,” Hines said. “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.’”
The good news is, Bethesda is putting its money where its mouth is. DOOM Eternal is confirmed to be coming to the Switch, as is the next Wolfenstein game. It seems like the company has definitely found an audience for its titles on Nintendo’s new system- although something like Fallout 76 on the Switch still can’t be done.