Nintendo Switch has grown immensely popular, and much of the credit for this goes to its portability factor and the games like Mario and Zelda. Apart from these two factors, Switch’s popularity can also be attributed to the presence of the indie games (or “Nindies,” as the company calls them). Now, to further push the popularity of the console, the company is introducing new indie games.
On Tuesday, at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), the Japanese firm revealed more than a dozen new indie games such as Mark of the Ninja Remastered, Banner Saga 3, Fantasy Strike, The Messenger, Garage, Pool Panic, West of Loathing, Bad North and more coming to the Switch this year. Further, the company revealed that Hyper Light Drifter, Nidhogg 2 and Crashlands will also arrive on the Nintendo Switch soon, notes tom’s guide.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) March 20, 2018
At the event, Damon Baker, Nintendo’s head of third-party relations, also talked of the success of the indie games on the Switch. The executive shared some sales figures to back his statement. Baker noted that 70% of the Switch games, which have a 75 or better rating on Metacritic, are indie games. Further, the executive revealed that sales for 76% of the multiplatform developers matched or exceeded what they earned on other platforms after launching the titles on the Switch.
According to GameSpot, several indie developers have revealed that their games get more sales on the Switch than other platforms such as PS4 and Xbox One. In some cases, Switch sales even surpass the sales on other platforms combined. Matt Thorson, the creator of Celeste, revealed earlier that the sales of the Switch version were outselling other versions. Also, Team Meat, developer of Super Meat Boy, noted that the sales of the Switch version were “shockingly close” to sales on the Xbox 360, when it was originally launched in 2010.
The rising popularity of the indie games helped push Nintendo’s digital content sales as well. Further, the executive assured fans that they will be working hard to improve Switch’s Nintendo eShop marketplace. “We’ve heard the feedback of the limitations of the Nintendo eShop loud and clear,” Baker said. The company will focus more on increasing the discoverability and visibility of the indie games, the executive said.
Baker also revealed the top-selling Switch indie games, saying the popularity of these games are driven by the “nostalgia” factor as well. “Nintendo fans really tap into those games that share inspiration, or have a sense of, nostalgia, with tried and true franchises, maybe games they grew up playing when they were younger,” said Baker.
Nintendo Switch top 10 best-selling indies games based on the global unit sales as of March 5th are (in no particular order): NBA Playgrounds, SteamWorld Dig 2, Fast RMX, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Stardew Valley, Enter the Gungeon, Kamiko, Overcooked, Golf Story and Celeste. The executive gave no details on the sales of the titles, including rankings of the games.
Talking of the reason for the popularity of indies games, Baker said Switch’s audience includes “kids in dorm rooms, we’ve got young adults, we’ve got dudebros” and all these users are “familiar with consuming digital content.” The fact that Nintendo Switch allows fans to carry a digital library, unlike carrying cartridges, is encouraging them to go for the digital version of the games.
In separate news, Nintendo Switch continued to sell well in February as well, making it the top-selling console in U.S. history in its first year. According to NPD analyst Mat Piscatella, Switch has hit the “highest installed base for a console platform in history” over its first 12 months on the market. This means the portable console has sold better than the PS4 and Xbox One in their respective debut year, notes GameSpot.
Nintendo has not revealed the sales figure for the Switch in the U.S. or in other regions. Overall, as of December 31, the console sold 14.86 million units globally. It must be noted that Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in U.S. history over its first ten months.
According to NPD, PS4 was still the best-selling for February, and continues to be the top-selling console this year so far. Further, total hardware spending in the U.S. was up 55% to $316 million. The surge in hardware spending was mainly driven by sales of the Switch and Xbox One. Talking of the games, Monster Hunter: World was the best-selling game, followed by the Call of Duty: WWII.