Is there a good reason Nintendo doesn't prioritize 3rd party games?

Discussion in 'Switch - Games & Content' started by willfr, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. willfr
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    willfr Newbie

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    For a few reasons, we should give the Switch a pass when it comes to relatively poor 3rd party support (I mean relative to the PS4 and Xbox), but when you look back/overall, it's clear Nintendo doesn't make 3rd party support a high priority. Why though? Imagine if GTA, Red Dead Redemption 2, CoD Black Ops 4, etc. were available on the Switch? It would sell significantly better (I know it's already selling great but why would you not try to be as successful as possible?). I hope for the Switch successor, which I guess comes out around 2023, they make sure there is REAL 3rd party support. There's nothing to worry about for this Switch generation but I don't think Nintendo can afford another generation of relatively poor 3rd party support. For the Switch successor, lets hope Nvidia and Nintendo make a chip that's just as capable as the PS5's
     
  2. Dodain47

    Dodain47 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Nintendo being Nintendo, or they want to sell their games first.
     
  3. Pippin666

    Pippin666 SSF43DE Master

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    Let's say you make bicycle and tire for, why would you help other brand to make tires for your bicycle ?

    Pip'
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    It has been pondered for many years now. We will skip the "Nintendo is just a money laundering front" theories, for while stranger things have happened (see the story of the ngage) it is not all that likely. Same for "they are artists that just want to ensure they have a means to do their vision", "the upper brass is all afflicted with a terminal case of the stupidity" and "Nintendo need to have a loss for tax purposes".

    I can sort of understand Sony catching them off guard when it came to the PS1 and them suddenly finding themselves not as much of a key player as they were in most regions during the NES and SNES (technically Sega were doing what Sony would be doing). In case you were unaware then Nintendo of the NES and SNES era exerted massive influence on their third party devs as far as content standards, and would often deny them the chips to make the carts or sell them far fewer than they really could. When Sony, and Sega before them, treated other companies like they were partners then that is part of the reason they flocked to them despite being a smaller or unproven market.
    By some accounts the Nintendo of today are far from a joy to work with, and not anywhere near as helpful as the likes of EA, Ubisoft and the others (or them of the mid-late PS360 era as most of the talks I have seen are from around then), but by no means bad. On the other hand if Sony, MS, Ubisoft, EA, Activision and so forth will headhunt projects, pay them lots of money to do things and focus them on MS and Sony devices these days and Nintendo just allow them the chance then I can see that being a thing. It is an odd move but hey.

    Some have speculated whether it was the push towards "mature" themes that the gaming industry at large went towards and that would mess with their "family friendly" niche. I have met a general notion that Nintendo are the only ones playing in that world a few times now in the general public, from some ROM hacking types (if you hack ROMs then it is a fairly safe bet you are invested in this games lark), and there have been a few notable versions of that from devs as well (amusingly one of the people that ultimately made ID software and so Doom, Quake and all that was noted as not caring for the action/violence/blood/gore direction).
    There is no reason you can't do both -- Disney quite notably owns or owned Touchstone pictures, Miramax, Dimension Films and a few others like that which distributed/made/financed stuff you are unlikely to see on the Disney channel any time soon.

    Some wondered if they made enough money with the first party stuff they did (or from hardware) that they were happy with that and anything they got beyond that was just gravy. Given most companies are duty bound to make as much profit as they can then it would seem strange to rest on their laurels as it were, and possibly the sort of thing your shareholders would care about.

    Some wondered if they only cared about Japan, where they do pretty well, and the rest of the world was something of an afterthought. While unlikely to be the sole reason I can see an element of this being at play, certainly back in the day.

    I too have no idea why -- everybody that has the third parties does well and every time they had they did well (NES, SNES, GB/GBC, GBA and DS), since they lost them then it makes it a far harder sell (I have skipped the 3ds and probably will do the Switch as well because of lack of third party support).
     
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  5. Chizko

    Chizko GBAtemp Regular

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    Cartridge system (limited storage) - hardware power - SDK with limited tools (this until WiiU). This are the reasons and of course Nintendo didn't had a relationship with third party (at least a proactive), with Switch this change because they need games.
     
  6. goober

    goober GBAtemp Regular

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    Nintendo's poor support was previously tied to poor development tools and documentation, to the point where Factor 5 knew and did more with the low-level system routines than Nintendo with the Gamecube (Factor 5 having a lot of input in the design of the GPU). But that has been over since the Wii. The Switch has official support from Nintendo for Unreal Engine and that was before Fortnite. You can't get more friendly than that. Nintendo also is easier than ever to publish on now as an Indie.

    So, again, at times Nintendo gave poor support but that hasn't been the case for a while now. Third Parties can't compete with Nintendo games and since the Wii Nintendo has been releasing less than favorable hardware, thus the parity difference in "support".

    It's not that Nintendo isn't supporting Third Party developers. It's third party developers not caring enough and Nintendo refusing, rightfully since it makes no financial sense, dumping money on publishers/developers to make a third rate port.

    Meanwhile, Nintendo releases more First Party game than the competition, combined. Personally, in a world where PC reigns king and third party exclusives ALMOST dead, and consoles wanting mid-cycle upgrades, Nintendo's strategy is the winning one, for the long game.
     
  7. coffinbirth

    coffinbirth Member

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    The Switch simply isn't powerful enough to run those games though, not without significant work anyways. RDR2 I would think to not even be possible. The Switch has an absolute GLUT of 3rd party shovelware right now, as well as a ridiculous amount of great 3rd party indie games. What you are asking for are AAA titles that are designed to run on vastly more powerful hardware. You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.
     
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  8. sj33

    sj33 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Historically, Nintendo always had a somewhat heavy-handed approach to third parties by forcing restrictive terms upon them. The most notable of these being in the late 80s and early 90s when Nintendo forced publishers who released games on their platforms into an exclusive publishing deal where those publishers could not release games for rival platforms. They got away with this for many years in the US and Japan where the NES dominated. However, this backfired on them in Europe where the industry was already divided between the Master System, ZX Spectrum, C64, Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC among others. Publishers could easily publish games for all major formats back in those days, so European publishers told Nintendo to stick their publishing deal where the sun doesn't shine. As a result, the NES was always an also-ran in Europe and forced Nintendo to radically rethink their approach towards publishers.

    Despite this, they still maintained strict control over the type of content that developers could contain in their games resulting in heavy censorship and stifled creativity. Conversely, Sega and later Sony had a more hand-off approach.

    The Nintendo of today is not the Nintendo of yesterday however, and their indie policy shows they have become significantly more accomodating and less hand-on regarding third party content. However, they are still in the process of rebuilding their relationships with publishers after decades of neglect and mismanagement. Coupled with the fact that developing a Switch version of multiplatform games requires quite a significant development effort and utilisation of resources and you have a situation where the Switch becomes an afterthought.
     
  9. willfr
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    willfr Newbie

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    So, do you think Nintendo is working hard with Nvidia and 3rd party studios to make sure the 2023(?) Switch gets the next Grand Theft Auto, Elder Scrolls 6, Call of Duty etc.? I honestly can't think of a reason why they wouldn't be doing this, there's simply no excuse. The 2023 Switch needs to be the same price as the base PS5 (assuming the base PS5 will be reasonably priced, like the base PS4 always has been), and when it's docked, it doesn't need to be true 4K, as long as it's visually comparable to the base PS5 and plays the same games, this console could be a massive success and might even make Microsoft pull out of the hardware game (meaning, Xbox would just become a streaming service, and maybe they will only sell cheap little streaming boxes).
     
  10. Xzi

    Xzi Virtual Bartman

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    It's simply not realistic making a portable console on par with current-gen consoles. Certainly not at the same price point. Otherwise it would've been done much sooner.

    People are treating this like some sort of crisis when it really isn't. Nintendo has a lot more third-party support this gen than they have in years past, and they have complete control over the portable market. To reach that specific audience of gamers, third parties will have to come to Nintendo eventually, whether they like it or not.
     
  11. Chizko

    Chizko GBAtemp Regular

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    I don't think so, yeah Nvidia can make a new powerful chip, but Nintendo alway go for won money day one with every sold and now (apparently) is working in a more efficient and low cost to manufacture Switch (this for the first revision (2019-2020)).
     
  12. Rahkeesh

    Rahkeesh GBAtemp Fan

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    You think support is bad now, with some PS4 AAA games barely running on switch after massive downgrades, the PS5-level stuff right around the corner is going to be a complete non-starter. Given that I kind of wonder if Nintendo would permit Microsoft's cloud streaming to run on their console, maybe even a streaming version of gamepass. Microsoft might just be crazy enough to do the requisite revenue share, I'm not sure whether Nintendo would take it but at least that would get them some dough from next-gen graphics.
     
  13. willfr
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    willfr Newbie

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    Nintendo will be fine for now because there's nothing else like the Switch on the market, I'm talking about the next gen. And obviously the current Switch couldn't possibly run PS5 games, I'm talking about the next-gen Switch that would come out around 2023. Nintendo and Nvidia are working on it right now, the chip will probably be custom and possibly even exclusive to that Switch. I think if Nintendo, Nvidia and 3rd parties worked together, they could make sure that Switch will get proper 3rd party support, not like the current situation. It wouln't be 4K when docked but it'll be far higher than 1080p, and I'm sure it'll look really great, and that's all that matters to people. If the 2023 Switch is the same price as the PS5 and it plays Elder Scrolls 6 at around 1440p when docked, no one will complain and that device could sell in amazing numbers. 1440p looks really good on a 4K TV, the average person won't care that PS5 versions of games will look a little bit better
     
  14. Chizko

    Chizko GBAtemp Regular

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    Well maybe a Ps4 level, 2023-2025 with a real next gen, i don't know if on 2023 Switch still be THE console of Nintendo or one of them. Now Nintendo still say 3DS is handheld and Switch is Hybrid and probably this is the last year of 3DS, so they can make a Switch lite with stylus...and maybe then a stationary Switch. Except a PS5 hardware level all is possible...
     
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