Third Party Games On Nintendo Switch: An In-Depth Look
The Nintendo Switch has been out for a few weeks now and while everyone is enjoying Breath of the Wild, Snipperclips, Bomberman and other launch window titles, many gamers are looking to the future and wondering how third party support on Nintendo’s newest console is going to shake out. Back in October when Nintendo first revealed the Switch, it tweeted an infographic boasting a sampling of third party companies it was partnering with to make the Switch super groovy. Now, such an infographic is nothing new and frankly, doesn’t really mean much. After all, it did the same thing with the Wii U and we all know how that turned out. Over 300 games For Everything But Wii U! But, Post Hoc Ergo Prompter Hoc and all that so let’s take a look back at this initial list of third party partners and see what’s come of it so far. Well, it’s got more than double the names on it than the similar Wii U infographic had so that’s a step in the right direction! Of course, as we learned with the Wii U, just because Nintendo has a partnership with a third party company, that doesn’t necessarily mean that partnership will bear fruit and so it goes with this list.
At least so far. Here are the companies that have yet to release or announce a game for the Switch. Yep. 21 out of 48 have no released or announced games for the Switch. That’s nearly half the names on the list! Now, what might stick out to you is the fact that every company in the bottom two rows is circled. That’s because those companies are predominately providers of middleware solutions, not game development studios. Let’s plow through ‘em real quick like and see what they do.
RecoChoku is a music download service. Wwise is Audiokinetic’s audio authoring tool. Autodesk makes animation software such as 3DS Max and Maya. CRI Middleware provides audio/video encoding software. DeNA is working with Nintendo on its mobile games but has confirmed it is not developing games for the Switch so it will probably work on network stuff. Epic is providing Unreal Engine 4.
It does make games too but nothing’s been announced. FMOD is Firelight Technologies’ sound effects engine. Havok is the company behind the popular physics engine of the same name. RAD Game Tools provides video and data compression codecs and other stuff. Silicon Studio offers game engines and other middleware but is also the developer behind 3D Dot Game Heroes and the Bravely Default games. Nothing announced for Switch though. Ubitus offers cloud gaming solutions. Unity, another game engine. And Web Technology Corp makes a smart device optimization tool and a 2D sprite animation data creation tool. So, no games but good, valuable stuff nonetheless. Now, among the remaining dedicated game studios and publishers, 8 of ‘em have yet to release or announce any games for the Switch.
There are also four companies on this list whose announced games are published by another company whose name is also on this list. So, this infographic engages in a little double dipping. Okay, keeping in mind that 10 of these companies are providers of middleware and not game studios, how many games have been released or announced by this group of 48 third parties? 50. Now, it’s important to remember that we have no information on many of these games beyond “it’s coming!” When? Don’t know. Is it exclusive to the Switch? From the information we have so far, of these 50 games, only two are exclusive to Switch.
Unless you’re super generous and count new versions of existing games in which case, five. But what about multiplatform games? Are they releasing on the Switch the same day they debut on other systems? While many of these 50 games don’t yet have release dates we do know that 30 of them, over half, are available or will be available on other platforms before they’re available on the Switch. Alright, with all that out of the way, let’s take a look at the specific titles Switch gamers are getting out of this list of third party partners so far. First on the list is 505 Games, who is bringing three titles to the Switch, most notably, Koji Igarashi’s spiritual successor to the Castlevania games, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. It’s developed by Inti Creates, who you might notice is also on this list, and is penciled in for a 2018 release on pretty much everything.
Not an exclusive, but damn nice to have. Hopefully it comes out at the same time and the same price as every other version. Looking at you, RIME! 505 is also bringing us Portal Knights, a Minecraft-esque adventure game that hit Steam in Early Access early last year and hits consoles… someday. Lastly, 505 is bringing Terraria to the Switch, a game that first appeared on PC back in 2011 and has hit pretty much every platform since then. Including the Wii U. Next up is a company everyone recognizes, Activision, who has but a single game for the Switch.
Now you might be thinking, oh that’s easy. Call of Duty, right? Nope. No Call of Duty game has been announced for the Switch but, to be fair, this year’s Call of Duty installment hasn’t been announced yet at all so, you know, fingers crossed. How about a port of Destiny? Nope, its sole game for the Switch thus far is Skylanders: Imaginators. It’s been out on every other console for six months but, you know, cool.
Hopefully, Activision has more in store for Nintendo fans. Moving on we have Arc System Works, best known for the Guilty Gear and Blazblue series of fighting games. Switch, so far, isn’t getting any of the Guilty Gear action the PS3 and PS4 will enjoy next May but the company did announce a “BlazBlue series-related title” for Nintendo’s console. Is it exclusive? Multiplatform? Port of an existing Blazblue title? Is it coming this year? Next year? We don’t know! It also announced New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers, an enhanced version of a town-building sim that came out on the 3DS in Japan over a year ago. But that’s not all! Arc System Works brought another game to the Switch, Othello. Yep, Othello. So far as I can tell, one of the Switch’s very few exclusive third party games. Yay! Next up is the always awesome, Atlus. Owned by Sega, who is also on the list, Atlus is best known for the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games. The Switch isn’t getting a port of Persona 5 but it is getting a Shin Megami Tensei game! New? Exclusive? This year? Next year? We don’t know yet! Hopefully we’ll see more from Atlus but an entry in one of its best known series is certainly nice to see.
Bandai Namco. When I think of Bandai Namco, I think of Tekken and the Tales RPGs. You might think, hey, Tekken 7 is coming out on PC and consoles in June. Are we getting Tekken 7? Well, if we are, Bamco ain’t saying yet but it did announce a Tales game. No idea if it’s exclusive, multiplatform, or a port of an existing title but hey, Tales. But that’s not all, we’re also getting a Taiko Drum Master game, which we also don’t know if it’s new, old, multiplatform or what, and a port of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, which came out last fall on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. But hey, it’s new to Nintendo fans! Bethesda.
So many awesome franchises. Are we getting a port of last year’s amazing Doom? Nope. Fallout 4? No. Wolfenstein? No. Dishonored 2? No. Dare we hope for a port of Prey which hits PC, PS4 and Xbox One this May? Sure. But that almost certainly ain’t happening. So, what the hell is Bethesda bringing us? So far as we know, one game.
Skyrim. Yep, next fall you can pay full price for a game that came out in 2011 and has since seen release on everything but Nintendo platforms. Are we at least getting last fall’s special edition which you can buy on the PS4 or Xbox One, right now, for $30? Who knows? Bethesda won’t say. But hey, portable Skyrim! Capcom! The house that Mega Man built, and then was subsequently evicted from, is in a position to bring a bunch of cool games to the Switch. So what do we get? A port of the recently released Resident Evil 7? No. Well, I guess the Switch isn’t really powerful enough to run it but it could run Resident Evil Revelations which was recently announced for PS4 and Xbox One.
I mean, it ran on the Wii U so the Switch could handle it no problem! But Capcom didn’t include the Switch in its announcement. How about Marvel vs Capcom Infinite? A 3D fighting game might not be too taxing for the Switch. But it’s only announced for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Surely we’re getting Disney Afternoon Collection, a compilation of six Disney-themed Nintendo classics like Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck and Chip and Dales Rescue Rangers.
Nope. So what is Capcom actually bringing to the Switch? Street Fighter. The year old but still relevant Street Fighter V? No. Street Fighter 2. Specifically, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers, a port of an undeniably awesome but decades old game. This version boasts modern HD sprite work, just like 2008’s Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix did, and two new characters: Evil Ryu and Violent Ken. I mean sure, they’re little more than pallet swaps and even then they’ve appeared in other Street Fighter games but, uh… this version has an exclusive first-person mode where you smack down waves of Shadoloo Soldiers. Personally, I don’t count this as an exclusive. Extra modes and gameplay tweaks or not, it’s still Street Fighter II. Which is great as the game is a classic for a reason but hopefully Capcom has more for us down the line.
Maybe Monster Hunter? Eh? Eh? Codemasters is on the list. Known for racing franchises such as F1, Grid, and Dirt. Codemasters has yet to announce anything for the Switch. Electronic Arts. Known for a ton of stuff like Battlefield, The Sims, Madden, Need For Speed, Dead Space and… Mass Effect. Is the Switch getting a port of Mass Effect: Andromeda. Ha ha ha, no. The only game EA has announced for the Switch is FIFA 18. Hopefully it will be the same FIFA 18 that everyone else gets unlike that shady shit EA pulled on the Wii U, packaging FIFA 12 in a FIFA 13 box. More info on that in this video if you’re interested. From Software is on the list, makers of Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Are we getting a Souls game? Are we? Who knows? From Software hasn’t yet announced anything for the Switch.
Frozenbyte, best known for the Trine games, has one game announced for the Switch, the nifty-looking action strategy game, Has-Been Heroes. What I find most interesting about this game, at least in the context of this video, is that the game’s publisher is GameTrust, the next company on Nintendo’s list of third parties. How many games is GameTrust publishing for the Switch? So far as we know, only one: Has-Been Heroes. Mmm hmm. We see what you’re doing there Nintendo. Grasshopper is Suda51’s studio, responsible for wonderful cult classics like No More Heroes and Killer7. What’s he got up his sleeve for the Switch? A No More Heroes game? Maybe? Apparently it’s something with series protagonist Travis Touchdown.
We’ll just have to wait and see. No idea when it’s coming out, if it’s exclusive or what but hey, it’s Suda51 and that’s always exciting. Gungho, probably best known for its Puzzle & Dragons games, has not yet announced anything for the Switch. Hamster is bringing a bunch of old NEOGEO games to consoles. As of this recording it has released eight of them on the Switch eShop: King of Fighters ’94, King of Fighters ’98, Metal Slug 3, NAM-1975, Shock Troopers, Waku Waku 7, World Heroes Perfect and NEO Turf Masters.
While no additional games have been announced, it’s a solid bet we’ll see more release in the coming weeks and months. Inti Creates, the developer behind the Azure Striker Gunvolt, Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series of games, is bringing two titles to the Switch: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, which I already mentioned is being published by 505 Games, and Blaster Master Zero which, if you’re wondering, is also on the 3DS so it doesn’t count as an exclusive. Nintendo exclusive, yes. Switch exclusive, no. Next is Koei Tecmo, known for Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, Fatal Frame and the various Warriors games.
What have they got for Switch? A port of the recent and well-reviewed Nioh? No, but the Switch and 3DS are getting a Fire Emblem Warriors game so that’s cool. It also ported the year-old Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII and three-year-old Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence to the Switch. Konami. Castlevania. Metal Gear. Silent Hill. Pro Evolution Soccer. So many possibilities. Are we getting a port of Metal Gear Survive? Nope. Konami released Super Bomberman R for the Switch’s launch and has announced nothing else. But hey, Bomberman is a Switch exclusive. That’s two! Othello and Bomberman! Yay! LEVEL-5, known for Professor Layton, Inazuma Eleven, Yo-Kai Watch and Ni No Kuni.
Is the Switch getting the Ni No Kuni sequel? Don’t know. LEVEL-5 has yet to announce anything for the Switch. Marvelous, is best known for the Story of Seasons games, formerly known as the Harvest Moon games, and wouldn’t you know it, the Switch is getting a Story of Seasons game! And… that’s all we know. Don’t know if it’s exclusive or when it’s coming.
Maximum Games. It’s publishing a game called Troll and I. It came out on PC, PS4 and Xbox One this month and launches on the Switch sometime in Q2. Nipon Ichi Software, probably best known for the Disgaea games, is bringing Disgaea 5 Complete to the Switch which includes all the DLC from the PS4 game that came out back in 2015. Parity Bit is bringing a Derby Stallion game to the Switch. That’s all we know at this point. Platinum makes awesome games: Bayonetta, Wonderful 101, Vanquish, MadWorld and the recently released Nier: Automata.
Is Switch getting in on some of that action? Who knows? Platinum has yet to announce anything for the Switch. SEGA. Sonic. Yakuza. Total War. Yakuza. Phantasy Star. Yakuza and other great game series like Yakuza. Unfortunately, SEGA has already said no to Yakuza on Switch but we are getting: a Shin Megami Tensei game, which as I mentioned earlier, is developed by Atlus who’s also on the list, Puyo Puyo Tetris, two years old but new to the west, and two Sonic games, Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces, both of which are set to hit multiple platforms later this year. Spike Chunsoft is known for the Zero Escape games, the Danganronpa series and other assorted RPG goodness such as the early Dragon Quest games. Unfortunately, it has not announced anything for the Switch. Square Enix. Final Fantasy. Kingdom Hearts. Tomb Raider. Hitman. Deus Ex. All of those franchises have upcoming or recently released games. Are any of them coming to Switch? Not that Square Enix has said so far.
But, it does have a fair number of other games coming to Switch: a bundle of both Dragon Quest Heroes games, Dragon Quest X, Dragon Quest XI, and I Am Setsuna. These are all multiplatform games but hey, I’m happy to have them. It’s also bringing Minna de Wai Wai! Spelunker, an update of the 2015 PS4 title Spelunker World, and Seiken Densetsu Collection a port of three RPGs from the ‘90s we in the west would know better as Final Fantasy Adventure, or Mystic Quest in Europe, and Secret of Mana 1 & 2, the latter of which was never released outside of Japan so it’s super awesome to finally get that. Square Enix also announced a really cool-looking RPG currently known as Project Octopath Traveler. No idea when it’s coming out or if it’s exclusive but I’m excited to learn more about it! Starbreeze Studios.
Known for… Payday 2 and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Interestingly, it has money in both Psychonauts 2 and System Shock 3. The former has been announced for PC, PS4 and Xbox One in 2018 and the latter has no release date or announced platforms. Could the Switch see a port of either one? Who knows? Starbreeze has not announced anything for the Switch. Take-Two. Yep, Nintendo’s partnered with Take-Two. Does this mean Grand Theft Auto? Bioshock? Borderlands? Civilization? Red Dead Redemption 2? All that’s been announced so far is NBA 2K18. Telltale Games. Creators of much lauded adventure games such as the Walking Dead which is currently in the middle of its third season. Will the Switch get a port? Hasn’t been announced. What about their recently concluded Batman game? A Russian retailer listed it but there’s been no official announcement. How about the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy game? Unfortunately, the Switch ain’t among the announced platforms for that series.
But, Telltale has announced one game for the Switch, last year’s Minecraft: Story Mode: The Complete Adventure. Better than nothing. THQ Nordic, probably best known for Darksiders, has not announced anything for the Switch. Moving on. Tokyo RPG Factory made I Am Setsuna which launched on the PC and PS4 last year and launch day on Switch. Square Enix owns this studio and is publishing its game so here we have another instance of Nintendo double dipping a bit on its third party partners list. Cheeky. TT Games, owned by Warner Bros. Interactive, who is also on this list, is known for LEGO games. Lots and lots of LEGO games. There are two announced for the Switch at this point, LEGO Worlds which launched earlier this month on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, the Switch version hasn’t been dated yet, and LEGO City Undercover which came out on the Wii U four years ago and launches on the PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch in April.
Okay, Ubisoft. Known for a ton of popular franchises such as Prince of Persia, Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, Far Cry and a metric crap ton of Tom Clancy games. Speaking of which, how about a Switch port of the recently released Ghost Recon: Wildlands? No? Okay, how about a Switch port of last month’s For Honor? No? Okay, how about a Switch port of South Park: The Fractured But Whole which should be coming out sometime in the next year? No? Okay, well, what is the Switch getting out of Nintendo’s partnership with Ubisoft? A port of last fall’s Just Dance 2017, a port of the four-year-old Rayman Legends, and a port of last December’s extreme winter-sports game, Steep. There’s also that rumored Mario and Raving Rabbids RPG but nothing’s been announced.
Help us oh E3 Kenobi, you’re our only hope. And finally, Warner Bros. Interactive, known for the Batman Arkham games, Mortal Kombat and plenty others. So whatcha got on the table for the Switch, WB? We getting a port of next May’s Injustice 2? No? How about a port of next August’s Middle-earth: Shadow of War? Nope. All that Warner has announced are the two LEGO games TT Games is working on. Yep, these two companies, represent the same two games. Oh Nintendo. And there you have it. The sampling of third party partners that Nintendo showed off last October has delivered or announced a total of 50 games so far. Over half of them will release on other platforms first or are already out on other platforms, and in some cases, have been for years. Almost none of them are exclusive, meaning you don’t actually need a Switch to play the vast majority of them. And while there’s absolutely some great content among these 50 games, the Switch is still missing out on almost 20 of these companies’ major multiplatform games.
Of course, most of them wouldn’t run on the less powerful Switch without being scaled back in some way but it’s still disappointing. However, these are not the only third parties working with Nintendo. Image and Form, for example, is bringing SteamWorld Dig 2, Yacht Club Games is bringing Shovel Knight, Playtonic is bringing Yooka-Laylee. Choice Provisions is bringing Runner3, one of the Switch’s incredibly rare third party exclusives. All told, there are well over 100 games on or announced for the Switch and hopefully, there’s lots more great stuff to come for Nintendo’s newest platform. E3 is only three months away. Are you excited? I’m excited. And that’s why I’m sitting behind this table..
As found on Youtube