During Nintendo’s recent annual shareholders meeting, an investor asked about the Japanese gaming giant’s plans for future indie game releases, a category of video games the Switch has been great for since its release.
“Indie games have become a hot topic recently,” asked an investor. “As games made by small-scale developers around the world with relatively low development costs, how will Nintendo integrate these kinds of games into its future business strategy?”
Nintendo licensing head Susumu Tanaka gave a rather detailed response, explaining how important independently-developed games are to the Switch’s future, but also specifically stating that Nintendo plans to hit the milestone of releasing 20 to 30 indie titles per week. This is a number significantly above the rate Nintendo is currently releasing Switch games at, and also runs the risk of over-saturating the console with games not worth playing in the process.
You can read Tanaka’s full statement below:
“We started working with indie developers during the Wii U generation. For Nintendo Switch, we set up a development environment that supports Unity middleware, which is used on smartphones and other platforms. We are also actively engaging with indie developers at video game-focused shows and other events in different regions. We also had a Nintendo booth at the BitSummit indie game event held in Kyoto, where we showcased some games. Some of the indie games already released have gone on to become million sellers worldwide. In the future, we are looking to release around 20 to 30 indie games on Nintendo Switch per week, and we definitely expect to see some great games among them.”
This means that Nintendo would be releasing approximately 1300 games per year on the Switch — an impressive, though slightly concerning number depending on how you look at it. For instance, while the iOS App Store and Google Play Store feature a number of great games worth checking out, both digital retail platforms are also full of shovelware.
This makes discovering actually good mobile games a difficult task. Also, the Switch eShop’s current design wouldn’t be conducive to discovery with this many titles hitting it on a weekly basis, though Nintendo could have plans to revamp the digital retail platform in the near future.
It’s also worth pointing out that Tanaka is just referring to indie games and not eShop releases in general.
The meeting, which was run by Shuntaro Kurukawa, the current president of Nintendo, along with Nintendo’s outgoing president Tatsumi Kimishima, was recently translated into English and can be found at this link.