Most Honorable Nintendo Switch 3rd Party Publisher Ranking
It comes a time for every Nintendo Switch owner where they wonder, which game other than Breath of the Wild they should get for their new console. With over 100 games now available on the Switch, the decision can be quite tough. Especially budgetary constraints are a big issue here, considering the amount of money customers had to spend for their Switch (330€), a carrying case (20€), a Pro Controller (70€), an SD-card (50€) and a Powerbank (30€). If you’re someone like me, you may have even been scammed by some additional Gamestop insurance (30€). Please keep this to yourself though! (Total: 530€ ~ $630 without a single game! Oh my….)
All in all, that’s a lot of money and further purchase decisions have to be made with care. Now, Nintendo has for a long time been unattractive for third parties. Nintendo fans are probably quite familiar with statements such as “We’ll put this game on the Nintendo [insert console name here] and if it does well, we’ll consider putting more games on it”. Those “testing the water” games were horrible ports most of the time, which prompted fans to skip over them. The rejection of those games then in turn caused a lack of support by third parties alltogether and Nintendo got a reputation for “having no third party games”.
With the so far insanely successful Nintendo Switch things are looking to change. Some third party publishers still seem to be hesitant though and end even end up stating or doing outrageous things that anger the fans of the device (Spoiler Alert: It’s Capcom). I am in the dark in how you feel, but I personally am completely fed up with any publisher making statements about “testing the waters”. It’s a marketing trick and quite frankly, if the game was any good, marketing speech such as “watertesting” should be completely unnecessary. I will outright boycott publishers who do that.
This is why I decided to put this ranking together. I want the Switch to be a successful console, simply because I want to play more games on it. Therefore, I will be putting my money towards publishers and developers who treat my now favourite platform to play games on with respect and this list is designed to reflect that. So without further ado, let’s get right ahead with it and see which publishers are the most honorable. The list will focus only on publishers of Triple-A games, as the Switch needs those to get rid of the connotation that it lacks third party games. (The Switch already has a metric ton of indies actually, but you know, they “don’t count” as third party games!)
10th place – Capcom
Right, where should I even start? Capcom easily picks up last place and becomes the most dishonorable publisher on the Nintendo Switch. Starting out, they are the one company that comes to mind when talking about watertesting.
The company stated that future output for Switch depends on the number of sales of their first game (Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers) for the device. The game ended up becoming a smash hit with 450 000 copies sold, but Capcom was still unhappy. They then stated that they will be watertesting the Switch again by releasing Monster Hunter XX Double Cross. Awesome, the same marketing trick used twice and the best part is that the game will be kept exclusively to Japan! Seriously Capcom? So many Monster Hunter fans in the west wanting to play the upgraded version of Monster Hunter Generations, yet you refuse to release it in the west? To make matters worse, the game practically already has a translation and the minimal amount of work needed for the upgraded version to be fully localized should be trivial.
Yet, Capcom seems more motivated to bring Monster Hunter exclusively to all consoles but the Nintendo Switch. Shortly before E3, rumours came about that a new Monster Hunter game will be announced at Sony’s press conference, with it coming to all platforms but the Switch. This rumour came true and further detail about it revealed an exclusivity deal with Sony. However, the Pc or Xbox One releases were irrelevant to Sony and only Nintendo should be barred from having the game. This further destroys any good will left by Nintendo fans for the company. Considering how well the 3DS versions sold, we feel betrayed and rightly so.
If only it stopped there. Capcom released Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 and the Disney Afternoon Collection on all other platforms but the Switch this year. All of the games contained within those collections were originally on Nintendo Consoles! Keeping that in mind, Capcom has now done the digital equivalent of spitting on the Nintendo fanbase. We could go further with Okami HD and the download required for the physical version of the Resident Evil Revelations pack, but I think now it’s time to stop ranting and get back to a positive, more light-hearted tone instead.
Capcom is a company I will actively avoid now, even when I’m playing on other platforms. It’s baffling that Capcom was apparently responsible from getting the RAM of the Switch to be increased to 4 GB, but then goes and does nothing with it afterwards. If Capcom wants to rebuild our trust again, they will have to simply put, put in a lot of work.
9th place – Activision Blizzard
The biggest game publisher out there, which goes by the name of Activision Blizzard, has only released one game so far: Skylanders Imaginators. With one game released and nothing announced so far, they beat out Capcom. How so? At least they avoided insulting us. Enough said, let’s move on to the next place.
8th place – EA
Competition is ramping up and EA has so far only released one game. Fifa 18 seems to be a port that has effort being put into it. It does miss some features though like playing with friends online, which to be honest is a pretty big deal. The question is, do we put all the blame on EA for this? After all, Nintendo is quite behind the competition in the online department and for the Switch to be considered a serious console, it really needs to nail the online multiplayer.
Some watertesting statements have been made however. Considering that FE was announced for the Nintendo Switch before Fifa even released, we might be able to forgive them for that. The executive producer of Need for Speed Payback has even stated that the game could run on the Switch, which can be interpreted as an indicator of good things to come. EA, you have potential; make use of it!
Honorable mention – Microsoft & Telltale Games
Since Microsoft is a competitor to Nintendo and Telltale Games just a simple developer, they are disqualified from the list. However, as their game releases establish the Switch as a much more serious console that it otherwise would be, we do want to give the two of them an honorable mention here. Minecraft for the Nintendo Switch was released just two months after the launch of the Switch and Minecraft: Story Mode has also already been released. Both games seem to be very decent ports that are still getting further support. Then there is Minecraft’s Better Together update, which will be hitting Nintendo Switch this winter and will allow gamers to play with users on PC, Xbox One and other devices except for the Playstation 4. Shame on you Sony for refusing crossplay!
Further, Telltale Games has already announced multiple games to be ported to the Switch including Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy and Season Two of Minecraft: Story mode. While these are far from being big Triple-A blockbusters, they are still significant and therefore Microsoft and Telltale Games truly deserve the honorable mention.
7th place – Bandai Namco
While BIG games are still amiss, Bandai Namco has already shown very decent support for the Switch with Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (even including the storyline of the first game as free DLC), One Piece: Unlimited World and Namco Museum. They’ve also confirmed a “Tales of” game coming to the system during the initial presentation of the Switch in January.
Further, while Pokkén is published by Nintendo, the game was developed by Bandai Namco. We give them some credit for this. Bandai Namco has so far respected the Nintendo Switch userbase and has definitely earned the 7th place. You could maybe say, only the 7th place for all this stuff? Yes, that’s because a bunch of publishers have already treaten the Switch quite well. If Bandai Namco wants to move up further in the list, a port of Dark Souls would do it. I have a friend who is literally asking me every single week if Dark Souls has been announced for the Switch yet. Bandai Namco, get moving; you have a sale just waiting for you right there!
6th place – Take Two Interactive
Take Two Interactive encompasses both Rockstar Games and 2K Games. NBA 2K18 was one of the first games shown for the Switch back in October of 2016 (Already a year ago since the Switch reveal? Time does fly!) and the port looks absolutely fantastic. It looks very close graphically to its stationary console counterparts, albeit at 30fps. There are however a couple of caveats about the game, like the physical copy of the game that has yet to be released requiring an SD-card with over 16 GB of available space.
Further, the game has a 5 GB save file, which needs to be on the internal memory of the Switch. Considering the Switch only has 26 GB available (yes, the OS needs some of the 32GB of included space as well), this is pretty insane. There are some controversies surrounding Microtransactions in this game, but these affect all consoles though, so we’ll be cutting 2K Games some slack here.
Why Take Two Interactive has earned 6th place though is that they’ve also announced WWE 2K18 and L.A. Noire coming to the Nintendo Switch. As the games have yet to be released, the rating is given in good faith here as the announcement of those games itself already establishes the Switch as a console worthy of ports. One thing to remain sceptical about though is that L.A. Noire will cost $10 more on the Switch than on both the PS4 and Xbox One. Rockstar Games, we’re watching you!
5th place – WB Games
WB Games has practically solely gotten this spot for putting all of their Lego Games onto the Switch. Cars 3: Driven to Win has also hit the Switch, but I think we can all agree that we could just avoid talking about it. Lego Worlds, Lego City: Undercover and Lego: The Ninjago Movie Videogame have all already released and Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is also on its way.
The company has also made zero fuss about it and has simply put the games out there, which really is to be appreciated. Effectively, WB Games has garnered good will from Nintendo fans over the years, including supporting the unfortunately failing Wii U with Lego games. The company’s continued releases has earned our trust and goodwill, giving WB Games the well-deserved 5th place. If WB Games wants to move up on this list, all it needs to do is announce some more games. (This kinda applies to all publishers really, but there is very little specific that could be said about WB games at this time.)
4th place – Sega and Atlus
Since both companies kinda belong to the same group we’re throwing them in together. Agree or disagree, that is how we’re rolling today. So far the released games are just two: Sonic Mania and Puyo Puyo Tetris. What can be applauded with them though is that both games are decent ports and in the case of Sonic Mania, has been released simultaneously with versions on other platforms. Puyo Puyo Tetris was also the first game to be offered cheaper digitally than physically, by including a small keychain in the physical release.
This garnered some good will, but the real reason why Sega and Atlus have earned the fourth place is due to when Sonic Forces was announced. The game was shown off in mid 2016, back when the Switch was still called the Nintendo Tomorrow™. It was therefore one of the first games to be announced for the system.
The game is also launching at the budget price of $39.99 and we at Red Value Gaming really like this as game prices are one of the biggest things we critique in our reviews, going so far as to even state the price that we believe the game should cost as a second review score! (You can also vote yourself on how much you would pay for a game on this site. Just search for a game in the search bar above and find your game on the list! With your support, this could become an awesome resource for people to check out if a game is worth its price!) If Sonic Forces is a good port, the fourth place would be deserved but otherwise, I’d look kinda stupid putting Sega at this spot in the ranking. However, the announced Shin Megami Tensei game by Atlus is still there to help me out. Overall, if the pair want to continue to remain high in the charts, they should announce something that starts with “Per” and ends with “sona” for the system; we’re waiting!
Honorable Mention – Psyonix and Koei Tecmo
Psyonix is merely a game development studio and thus disqualifying it from this list, but it’s upcoming 60 FPS port of Rocket League is fantastic news! This will also include crossplay with Xbox One and PC, allowing you to play with your friends who already own this game on other platforms (except for the Playstation 4, again….). Rocket League coming to the Switch really shows how seriously you need to take the device, as one of the most popular games as of late is making its way to something that you can hold in your hand.
Koei Tecmo gets an honourable mention too. Why? Koei Tecmo has been quite active on the Switch with games such as Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires and Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, but as you may be able to guess by the names of the games, the activity has been contained to Japan. Cool support overall, but Koei Tecmo will have to remain outside the leaderboard at this moment.
3rd place – Ubisoft
Ubisoft gets a well-deserved third place. What has Ubisoft done to earn that? Well, so far they’ve released Just Dance 2017, Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. Monopoly and Just Dance 2018 are also arriving soon. Two more games, Steep and Starlink have also been announced to be coming to the system, but we have yet to hear from them apart from their initial announcement. Worse even for Steep, there were rumours of the game possibly being cancelled and also Nintendo having to send staff to Ubisoft to support the porting process.
This large list of games is what gives Ubisoft a great position here. Although, Ubisoft has so far only put out one new big game on the Switch, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. It did however turn out to be a really great game, as you can see from our review and many others. The Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition port is also appreciated, especially as it launched at $39.99 and requires a very small file size compared to other versions.
In terms of Triple A power, these games are still quite a slim picking, but Ubisoft has a lot of potential for more. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle utilizes Ubisoft’s in-house Snowdrop Engine, which also drives the upcoming South Park: The Fractured But Whole. This makes it more likely for the games developed on the engine to come over to the Switch and gives the company the just mentioned potential. The commitment to the platform given so far by Ubisoft cements their rank in this list. If Ubisoft wants to continue on having a good position, the first thing they should do is properly announce Steep and let us know when it’s coming out. South Park should also be able to easily run on the Switch and a port would be an absolutely awesome addition to the Switch’s library.
2nd place – Square Enix
With the second place going to Square Enix, you should already know who the leftover candidate for first place is (It’s obviously Konami, as noone else is left after all….). Although, let’s go over why Square Enix deserves the second place.
With the full reveal of the Nintendo Switch, the company has announced a decently-sized exclusive title coming to the system; a double-A game so to speak. This game is Project Octopath Traveler and while its release is probably going to be sometime in 2018, a demo for the game is already available on the Eshop. Further, the company launched I am Setsuna and Dragon Quest Heroes I & II (only in Japan) with the release of the platform.
Now, Square Enix has announced a couple more games for the system, including Lost Sphear, Dragon Quest XI and Spelunker Party amongst others. Further, Dragon Quest Builders is getting a port to the system too and its sequel has also already been announced. The developers of Final Fantasy XV have also stated that they are trying to get their game to run on the system. Future projects of Square Enix like the remake of Final Fantasy 7 and Kingdom Hearts 3 run on Unreal Engine 4, which exports naturally to the Switch, and are therefore great candidates for future announcements.
Square Enix probably has the biggest third party developer library on the Switch so far and the only reason they are on place two rather than on place one is that the games that are out and announced at the moment can be described as Double A games rather than Triple A blockbusters. We have yet to see a single piece of footage of the Switch Version of Dragon Quest XI or even a single screenshot of it. This just creates scepticism from our side and for the Switch to pack a serious punch, it needs those Triple-A blockbusters to come out. This is the precise reason, why the following company is getting place number one.
1st place – Bethesda Softworks
Yes, a company that has previously been so vehemently anti-Nintendo is now the most honorable third party developer for Nintendo’s newest console. Skyrim has been announced for quite a while now and Bethesda Softworks is going all in. (The previous mention of Konami getting first place was a joke of course!)
Nintendo is now officialy DOOMed, as Doom and also Wolfenstein II have been announced for the slick device in the latest Direct. In contrast to other developers (looking at you Capcom and EA) Bethesda announced two further titles before their first game even had a chance to “watertest”. It is also nice to see how the company has stated that they want to build a strong relationship with Nintendo fans. This is precisely what is going to build consumer confidence and it is great with how much respect Bethesda treats the Switch and its fans.
Hold on! Now you might think, how come a company that has yet to release a single game on the platform become the most honorable game publisher on it? There are of course concerns here. The games could be absolutely horrible ports. In that case, Bethesda would crash down the list faster than the hype for No Man’s Skype after its release. However, a couple of indicators suggest that those are quite decent ports. Many people who have previewed the games have stated that they run well. These were definitely somewhat controlled environments, so some doubt remains. Skyrim will also feature optional motion controls and Amiibo support, indicating that effort has been put in into the development.
Overall though, the biggest reason Bethesda gets the crown is because Skyrim, Doom and Wolfenstein are BIG games. They are the games people are talking about when they say “Oh Nintendo has no third party support” and therefore are the games needed for the Switch to be considered a serious platform. Their games coming to the system will make the Switch a platform that, while being a bit smaller and weaker, stands alongside the Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. With Bethesda’s straight up commitment to the platform, they are the definitive publisher to be rewarded for their efforts.
In conclusion, this list was designed to make it clear to you which publishers to support if you want to see good treatment of the platform. After all, we should reward all those who bring high quality games to platform without any strings attached rather than chase after those who hold other games hostage by demanding we buy another game first. That is a tactic we should frown upon and even consider boycotting games and publishers who do so.
Just to make sure, avoid thinking I’m telling you to buy games from a certain publisher and skip over those from others. You should buy and play whatever you like to play and anything other than that would be plain wrong and stupid. However, if you are undecided about which game to get next and have a desire to support more good games coming to this system then this list is for you. Maybe you disagree with it though and have ideas for your own list. In this case, use this article to help you make up your own mind. Make sure to avoid taking this article too seriously though; quite a few things were done in jest.
If you are a publisher, please take the list as criticism and suggestions rather than as an insult (Yes, even if you are Capcom). We, the Switch community, want to see your games on our platform and we will buy them if you make decent versions of them. So go and announce some games, pander a little to us (By saying the Switch is the best device ever for example; you’ll think of something!) and see the profits rolling in. That is one way to improve your ranking. Actually, there is another way too, which is to simply send us some money; Paypal is ok.
All in all, thanks for reading. I really hope you liked this article and if you did, consider following us on a social media page (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Twitch). If you have something to add to this discussion, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. I’m looking forward to reading them. All in all, I hope to see you again next time!
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