Given that it’s bringing Doom, Skyrim and Wolfenstein to the Nintendo Switch it’s safe to say that Bethesda has more fondness for, and faith in, the Switch than any other Nintendo console.
In a recent interview with Venturebeat (opens in new tab), Bethesda’s vice president of marketing and communication, Pete Hines, suggested the relationship between the two companies is only going to strengthen.
“We’ve been in constant conversation with [Nintendo],” said Hines, “and not just about the two games we have now, but about our whole approach to the platform going forward – what we can do, best practices, what things are a good fit, what they’re excited about in what we’re doing.
"We’re obviously excited about these two games, but it’s not as if we’re going to just do these two games and that’s it. We want this to be the start of a relationship that we build with Nintendo and Nintendo fans.”
A third-party party
With the Switch Nintendo appears to be engaging third-party publishers in a way it hasn’t in a long time.
According to Hines, it was the success of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that really highlighted to Bethesda there was an audience it could appeal to on Switch.
“We haven’t done anything on a Nintendo platform in forever,“ said Hines. ”Breath of the Wild being the runaway colossal hit that it is, there’s certainly some belief like, “Hey, if you like open-world RPGs where you can explore and do what you want, Skyrim might be a good fit for you.”
This isn’t a one way street, though, and it’s encouraging that Nintendo appears to be welcoming and encouraging these third-party collaborations rather than brushing them off or doing the bare minimum.
With Doom, Wolfenstein and Skyrim we’re seeing Nintendo support games it would have been hard to imagine it supporting only a couple of years ago. The fact that it’s also working with developers to integrate Switch-specific features like motion controls shows just how serious the company is about diversifying its offering this time around.
Further to this there are good signs that Nintendo is becoming less precious about its first-party properties. With Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Nintendo made the questionable decision of allowing its mascot Mario to team up with Ubisoft’s rabbid rabbits for a turn-based strategy game.
The game ended up being a surprise hit – featuring alongside the Rabbids actually refreshed Mario, making him a more appealing and lively character.
Thanks to its willingness to support different kinds of games, Nintendo is making its new console more attractive to a wider range of players. Drawing in a broader audience should, in turn, bring in more third-party developers leading to an even more diverse playerbase. Nintendo has created the potential for an Ouroboros of growth and given that the Switch is only in its first year, we’re excited to see where things will go.