Virtous vice president of games Elijah Freeman says says the Switch should not be treated “as a secondary platform.”
Though the Switch has enjoyed much better third party support than many of Nintendo’s other previous consoles, owing simply to the fact that it’s a much less powerful machine than the PS4 and the Xbox One, it’s still treated by many developers and publishers as a secondary platform (if they choose to support it at all, which some don’t). And with the PS5 and the Xbox Scarlett on the horizon, and the gulf in power between Switch and other platforms set to increase even more, it wouldn’t be surprising to see that support drop even further.
However, according to port wizards Virtous – who’ve handheld Switch ports for a variety of games, including the likes of Dark Souls Remastered, L.A. Noire, Final Fantasy 12, and more – that would be a mistake. Speaking with GamesIndustry, Virtuos’ vice president of games Elijah Freeman said that developers should aim to have simultaneous day and date releases for their games on the Switch. Freeman says that owing to the Switch’s younger audience, such releases can help developers broaden their games’ reach.
“The first thing we recommend is not treating the Switch as a secondary platform and to plan for a simultaneous, day one release of the Switch version of your game,” he said. “Look towards the Switch as a way to rejuvenate a brand. The audience is younger than those who typically own other consoles, so having your IP on the Switch is a great way to invest in the future.”
In fact, as per Freeman, adding extra content and features to Switch versions of games help drive interest. Not supporting the Switch, according to him, would be a mistake for any developer, seeing as it is currently the biggest handheld system on the market.
“The second recommendation is to add special features and extra content; simple efforts that only incur a marginal workload impact, but can prove to double the interest from both Nintendo and the Switch player-base, consequentially doubling the revenue potential,” he said. “In fact, not taking advantage of the biggest portable gaming platform in the market today could even be seen as a lost opportunity.”
Virtous are also working on the Nintendo Switch version of the upcoming The Outer Worlds. What extra features that will have hasn’t been revealed yet, but hopefully, it’ll run well on the system.