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How Nintendo is using first-party Switch games to inspire third-party devs

"It was important to have these three very different [launch games] to be able to transmit to the people the originality of the console," notes Nintendo's Shinya Takahashi.
"It was important to have these three very different [launch games] to be able to transmit to the people the originality of the console."

- Shinya Takahashi explains how Nintendo is using its own games to show devs the Switch's potential

Nintendo's production group general manager Shinya Takahashi sat down with the French publication Pixels to discuss the Switch and how Nintendo is ensuring that its latest flagship console doesn’t encounter the same problems as the ill-fated Wii U.

One of the key issues brought up in the translated interview is how the Wii U suffered from a lack of compelling first-party and third-party releases. To avoid this with the Switch, Takahashi says Nintendo is using its first-party games to coax third-party developers into creating games for the system.

As an example, he explained how Nintendo’s launch and holiday releases were strategically laid out to show both players and third-party developers the capabilities of the Switch. 

“The fact that the launch games were Breath of the Wild, 1-2 Switch and Snipperclips was very important. These are games that each have their specificity, which allowed to take advantage of the specificities of the console,” said Takahashi. “It was important to have these three very different [games] to be able to transmit to the people the originality of the console.”

“Then [comes] Mario Kart 8, ARMS,  Splatoon, then Mario Odyssey at the end of the year, a series of games that do not resemble [eachother] but allow [us] to show the developers all that it is possible to do. The catalog must be sufficiently enriched to offer experiments that are unique and unique to the console.”

To that end, he notes that Nintendo has revamped its own internal development efforts. While he wouldn't comment on how many projects Nintendo currently has in development, he did note that the company has 11 total production teams, with each working on several projects at once. 

The full interview is available in its original French over on Pixels, and is well worth a read if you’re either fluent in the language or armed with Google Translate.

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