Bethesda talks supporting Switch, Nintendo apparently very pleased
During the system’s first year, Bethesda has been one of the biggest third-parties supporting Switch – especially in the west. The company was featured heavily as part of the system’s reveal with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. That game came out on Switch last year, along with the unexpected Doom. Wolfenstein II will also hit the platform in 2018.
Bethesda’s Pete Hines spoke at length about supporting Switch in a recent interview with Gamereactor. When asked about the challenges of bringing games to the console, Hines said in response:
“The challenge is entirely a technical one, right? If it was easy, then everyone would do it and it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. It’s not a direct 1:1 with other hardware that’s out there, but it also does something that nothing else can do, which is you can take it with you on an airplane, on a bus or whatever. The portability of it is fantastic.
Why did we do it? I’d like to think it’s because that’s part of who we are. We do take chances and do things that other folks don’t. We do VR, and we’ll do a smaller-scope thing like Doom VFR, but we’ll also do a couple hundred hours in a Skyrim or Fallout. There’s nobody else doing hundreds of hours of content in a VR game, but we thought it was a cool opportunity and something that would find an audience, and I think we find that to be the same with Switch. A game like Doom or Skyrim or Wolf II that there is an audience for those games on those consoles. We’ve seen that so far. Nintendo’s been really pleased obviously, and we didn’t have a crystal ball to know, ‘Oh this will definitely their best-selling thing’, but we saw it early, we felt like there was something we could support and our games would resonate, and they have, and obviously Nintendo’s crushing it with their hardware sales which is great.”
Gamereactor followed up by saying that Bethesda on Nintendo platforms is somewhat of a new thing. Speaking about the response to the company’s response, Hines noted:
“From Nintendo, they’re thrilled as hell. Last Nintendo game I guess we did before this would have been like Star Trek Tactical Assault or something – we did a DS game. I can’t even keep them all straight, it was a long time ago, but we hadn’t done anything on Nintendo hardware in a long time. But we’ve always talked to those guys. Our philosophy hasn’t changed in all my time at Bethesda, which is we put all this effort into making these games, we’ll put them out on as many platforms as will support the game as the developers have designed it. Now in the case of Switch, okay we’ve gotta do a little work to make sure it runs right and gives the right thing. We don’t want to cut out half of the story or make sacrifices that change the game, but if a device will support what we’re doing, we’ll absolutely put it out because we want as many people as possible to play these great games that our developers make.”
Lastly on the topic of Switch, on how Bethesda adds something to the platform and why Nintendo is pleased, Hines added:
“It was really fun to see for example how excited people got when we released the Doom update that offered the motion aiming and how excited people were. That was their number one thing that they wanted, and we just sort of like, ‘Yeah, here it is, and it does that.’ And they’re like, ‘Wow, holy crap!’ I don’t know if you played it today, but it’s in the Wolfenstein version as well so day one, if you’re really into the motion control, it’s in Wolf II.
We work with a great partner first of all in Panic Button that has done Doom and now Wolf II and working with id (Software) to bring these great games to a different type of platform and I think it plays well both as a handheld thing with no controller or it works really well with like a Pro Controller. It’s just an opportunity to do something that we think will resonate with gamers regardless of what they’re playing it on. “