“Nintendo tends to be at their best when they’re giving us their best experiences with their properties.”
Recently, Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford caused a bit of a stir among Nintendo fans when he said on Twitter, in response to a fan’s query, that Borderlands 3 will not be coming to the Switch, because Nintendo have different priorities. For a lot of people, this seemed to be another indication that much like on the Wii U, Nintendo was not interested in having third parties on the Switch.
However, Pitchford has since clarified his stance. Speaking to Glixel (via Nintendo Life), he has since clarified that just because Borderlands 3 is not coming to the Switch, does not mean that Nintendo are not working with third parties. He has also emphasized his ‘different priorities’ point, pointing out that Nintendo’s primary objective is to make the Switch a success, and that doesn’t have to overlap it having Borderlands on it.
“I don’t remember my exact words, but [I said] we were talking to them, but I think they have other priorities,” he said. “And it’s not a slight, they’ve got to drive their business. Nintendo tends to be at their best when they’re giving us their best experiences with their properties. I think there might be some scenarios where if the Switch becomes a place where there’s a huge number of customers, and it doesn’t compromise the experience that we’re making – there could be a scenario where us or Take-Two and 2K decide to take the effort to make it happen. But we can’t really think about that right now. And Nintendo, I think wisely, can’t prioritize forcing that to happen. I think they’re better off. What it would take for them to guarantee that we exist on the Switch would be better spent by them doing the things they’re best at. It wasn’t meant as a slight, it’s just the reality of priorities.
“Nintendo, in my opinion… they’re more awesome toward third parties than I’ve ever experienced them, so I’m afraid anything I say here’s going to sound like a slight. But it’s still not enough of an engagement to force things to happen, that wouldn’t happen just naturally. If that makes sense.”
Pitchford also said that he expects the Switch to be a success, because it plays to Nintendo’s strengths of offering something entirely different from the competition. “There’s probably a handful of people that would really love to have a great Borderlands experience that you can have on a screen about that size, that you can carry around with you. But most of the people that want the kind of big stuff that we’re doing are totally happy to do it on their television with their PlayStations and their Xboxes. And Nintendo’s not going to win by trying to take people away from that. They’re going to win by offering something that those guys can’t offer, which is exactly what they’re doing and should be doing. That’s where they should dedicate their resources. And I think they’re really smart for doing it, and it’s kind of what I want from them as a gamer.”
On the whole, I can’t say I disagree with his larger reasoning at all- though that still doesn’t take away from the sting of not having a proper, full fledged portable Borderlands experience (no, the terrible Vita port of Borderlands 2 does not count).