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Nintendo on devs who say they can’t get their game on Switch, fixing eShop’s limitations, more

Posted on March 22, 2018 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch, Switch eShop

Kotaku has published a new interview with Nintendo’s Damon Baker. It’s primarily focused on indies and the Switch eShop, including the store’s limitations. The site also asked about third-parties possibly getting on board with Nintendo Labo.

You can find a few excerpts from the interview below. For the full discussion, head on over here.

On how some devs say they can’t get their games on Switch…

Baker: I think the best way to explain it is, over the last year we have been evolving past what was initially more of a curated content position to now a curated partnership position. So part of the pitch process for new developers or new publishers who come on board with Switch is to not just pitch us a brand new game or a brand new concept, but to use that opportunity to prove their background, their aptitude as a developer and whether they’re going to be able to navigate through what can be a complicated process of going through the development cycle, and certification, and all of that. So that’s part of our evaluation.

I can’t really disclose all of our guidelines, but I can tell you that those partners that are able to instill a level of trust and confidence in us that they’re going to be very capable of getting through the development process and are knowledgeable about bringing content out on consoles, those are the ones that are resonating in terms of bringing that content out and it doing well on the system. Some of those developers do have a negative reaction or are bummed because we haven’t opened up the door to hobbyists or students at this time. But one day, we may. We may be going towards that direction. But for now, we’re still staying the course in terms of a closed dev environment for Switch.

On how Nintendo doesn’t want to play God with what comes to the eShop…

Baker: Yeah. We don’t have any intention of playing God. What I like might not be what everybody likes. Luckily, the stuff that we’ve brought through so far has resonated really strongly, it’s got a high level of quality and response from the community. But we really want to rely on the trusted sources to make those calls. So that is our preference, is to not have to look at every single piece of content. Although right now we are reviewing everything.

On the eShop’s limitations and addressing them…

Baker: I mean, full transparency, the eShop was always intended to be a transactional destination, versus a merchandising destination. From the very beginning. But as we’ve populated it with more and more content, I mean, it’s our responsibility to acknowledge that and help find ways to improve visibility and discoverability both on device and off-device. So I think the fact that the company is listening to that, that there are steps being taken—and that’s been in motion already.

In the eShop, on top of the news channel improvements there, being able to add areas like Games On Sale and Best-Sellers List, these other ways of categorizing titles that our partners can take advantage of. But there will be continued improvements on that as well, to make sure that we can ensure that our consumers and our fans can actually find the content that is relevant to them.

On whether Labo could be used by third-parties…

Baker: It could be. I mean, I think it’s similar to Amiibo. If it resonates with a bigger community, and there’s a bigger installed base, and it ends up working really really well, then we’ll definitely have those conversations from a third-party perspective of, what makes sense, and if there’s a way to tap into that excitement as well. So, anything’s possible.

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