“There’s a segment of their audience whose entry point into the platform is our title,” says Bethesda’s Pete Hines.
Though Nintendo has gathered an unfortunate reputation over the pas few years of not having very good third party support for their platforms, that is one area where the Switch has seen some significant improvements. Though still not on the same level as the PS4 and the Xbox One, the Switch has received a lot more third party support than any Nintendo console has in years- and their biggest third party supporter has, without a doubt, been Bethesda.
From DOOM and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim to Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, their output for the Switch has been strong and steady. Speaking to GamesIndustry, Bethesda’s SVP of marketing and PR Pete Hines got to talking about this support for the Switch from Bethesda, and contrasting it to how little of it there was with, say, the Wii.
“Well, that was more our philosophy has always been that anything that we are creating, we are happy to bring to as many platforms as will run the game as designed and envisioned,” said Hines. “The Wii was just not in the same area that the other consoles were at the time. The issue of: ‘Well, Wii folks won’t play this.’ Maybe they would or maybe they wouldn’t, but why even speculate? I can never get this game to run on that so it’s a moot point.
“Certainly, you’re not the wrong in that the level of support we have for Switch looks pretty dramatically different if you compare the last couple of years to the previous 15. I think that’s due in large part to what that console could do versus any other Nintendo platform relative to the other platforms we were making games for.”
In fact, there’s been such a major turnaround in terms of how well Bethesda has supported Nintendo in such a short time that as per data provided to the former by the latter, there are sections of the audience who seem to be purchasing the Switch only because games like DOOM or Skyrim are available on it.
“One of the things we discovered in talking with Nintendo, is that there’s a segment of their audience who plays other kinds of things on their platform that also likes our stuff,” said Hines. “And there’s a segment of their audience — and it’s a healthy size — whose entry point into the platform is our title. [Nintendo] can see what is the first thing people play on a new Switch account, and when it’s a DOOM or a Skyrim, they’re like: ‘Somebody got a Switch and decided to play your game before anything else.’
“It’s interesting to see. It definitely fits an audience that [Nintendo] already has, but it’s also clear that we are bringing some new people to [Switch]. I met a guy yesterday who said that the first things they bought on Switch were DOOM, Wolfenstein, and Skyrim because they are the sort of thing they wanted, and the fact they were on the Switch made them get a Switch.”
It doesn’t look like Bethesda’s support for the Switch is dying down anytime soon either. Wolfenstein: Youngblood and DOOM Eternal are both releasing day and date for the system this year, while earlier in the year, Bethesda also hinted at looking into bringing RAGE 2 over to the platform- not to mention “some more surprises on the way.”