The Nintendo Switch has changed the face of indie gaming and the gaming industry as a whole. Larger companies were already promoting indie developers more, but Nintendo’s Switch changed industry the most.
On the Nintendo eShop, fourteen of the thirty games currently featured are indie titles. The list’s top seller is the recently released Dead Cells (you can read our guide to getting started here). But what does this mean for the gaming industry as a whole?
Profit Creates Possibilities
While Nintendo’s exclusives are the reason why people purchase the Switch, other indie titles are the reason why people keep playing. A larger audience also means more profit for indie studios, which in turn creates more possibilities for them. For example, the financial success brought to these developers by the Switch means that they might not have to launch a risky Kickstarter campaign for their next game.
Financial issues are a huge hurdle for indie studios, but having the Switch makes that hurdle so much easier to overcome. The success of indie titles on the Switch has caught the attention of other major brands who are now trying to capitalize on this new trend in the market. In this situation, competition works in the favor of independent developers.
For awhile, the large Nintendo fanbase and fans of indie games have been separate. Now, because of the Switch, there’s a large crossover. Traditional Nintendo fans love the new market of indie games that are promoted through the Switch. It’s impossible to ignore the indie presence on Switch, since almost half of the best sellers on the eShop are indie titles.
What the Switch represents, is the overcoming of two conceptions about Nintendo and indies. Nintendo titles and consoles are always simple and easily accessible. Consumers see indie gaming as the opposite. They were a part of gaming that was more difficult to be exposed to, mostly limited by its place on Steam. There are still a lot of people who view ownership of a high end gaming PC a requirement for using Steam. The Nintendo Switch crushes both of these mindsets. It’s accessible, it’s cheap and the newer audiences are loving it.
The Golden Age of Indie Developers Has Gotten Better
Gamespot published an article in 2011 calling that year, “the Golden Age of the Indie Developer”. Indie games were good seven years ago, but today they’re much better. They don’t require a lot of hardware, play well with local multiplayer and are great fun on the go. Based on new trends in the larger market, things are only getting better for indie developers. The state of indies on the Switch is a great example of that. With the Switch’s success, we can hopefully expect more great indie development for the Switch.
If you’re looking into purchasing a Switch, I would absolutely recommend it. There are a lot of great indie and exclusive titles out and the flexibility of the console is great. With all that said, the state of indie gaming has never been better and continued support from Nintendo and other major brands will only improve that.