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NBA 2K18 is a Good Example for Future Switch Third-Party Releases

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 6:27:03 PM America/Los_Angeles

NBA 2K18 will be launching shortly on the Nintendo Switch and other programs. 2K recently confirmed the game will probably have feature parity on Switch with all the other programs, even updates will launch at exactly the same time. With this, 2K has correctly shown how to bring a major third-party match to Switch. Developers, take note.

For many years, Nintendo house systems have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to third-party service. Most third-party games on these systems were generally watered down versions made by some B-team. If it was not that, then it was a completely different game (read: incredibly simplified). By Way of Example, compare Shawn White Snowboarding on PS3/360 to that of this Nintendo Wii variant That Was developed by a totally different team.

 

 

To an extent, it was clear throughout the Wii why some titles were simply watered down. The system simply did not have the horsepower to offer exactly the exact same experience as the PS3 and 360. Most programmers were rather lazy with the couple releases they brought into the system, which did not help the already slow earnings. For instance, EA introduced both FIFA 13 along with Madden 13 to the system with missing features and technical hiccups.

Nintendo has finally learned a thing or two using the Switch. The company consulted developers while the machine was being designed and worked hand-in-hand with Nvidia to guarantee enough power was available. The result is a system that has just enough power to take care of modern engines and an architecture that is easy to work with. While the Switch nevertheless is not in exactly the exact same league as the other platforms, this remains a very major improvement over the Wii and Wii U. On top of that, the system has been selling very well since it launched back in March. With that said, developers don't have any excuse except to bring their best this time around.

For me, it looked like some developers basically sabotaged themselves as it came to their Wii and Wii U releases. It was as if they attracted over bad releases in a hope that they wouldn't sell well just to be able to have a 'reason' to extract complete support from Nintendo's systems. Some have even blamed the Nintendo fanbase for not caring for games which aren't exclusives. This is simply not true. The Wii U and 3DS were the very first Nintendo consoles to really embrace independent programmers. In a lot of instances, the indie titles that came to those systems sold only as well because they did on other programs. Sometimes, earnings were even better on Wii U and 3DS. This demonstrated that Nintendo players do want to play with more than just Nintendo-made games. The reality is that these customers want to be treated fairly; not like second-class citizens.

Developers should see that it isn't going to work to just 'throw a bone' out to Nintendo players. Should they want to sales, they need to give people a reason to get the game. If a user owns a Nintendo system in addition to another platform and also a multiplatform game is better on the other platforms, which version are they most likely to purchase? That is why I believe 2K should really be commended for bringing the full NBA 2K18 encounter over to Switch. By doing this, it is going to offer a real test about how interested Switch owners are. While the Switch version isn't as pretty as the PS4/Xbox One variants, all of the bells and whistles are still set up.

In addition to this, it's the added benefit of being the sole version of the game which may be taken everywhere; this is of course the principal selling point. Considering that the NBA 2K18 franchise has such a huge following on PlayStation and Xbox, that makes the situation kind of inflexible for the Switch. Even so, if 2K makes certain to advertise the Change version just as much as the others, it can move onto the system's high prevalence and will hopefully sell just in addition to the other platforms.

If a game like NBA 2K18 finds success on Switch, not only does this will lead to future entries in the series coming to the machine, but this may also inspire other major developers to consider bringing their matches over to the Switch. The system is already selling well, so if multiplatform games also perform well then the entire situation is going to seem very good to these apprehensive developers. More quality games then lead to more sales and then everyone's happy: Nintendo, programmers and the Switch userbase.

Of course, there is still the matter of the Switch being at disadvantage from a technical perspective. This makes me worried that future entries might wind up being too advanced for your own hardware. But, that is being pessimistic. If developers really would like to optimize for the system, they will find one manner or another to do so. Most developers have been happy with the Switch so far, so hopefully their tone won't switch down the road. In the long run, these studios will need to make sure that whatever games they bring to the Switch, it is fair treatment throughout the board. In case NBA 2K18 does not sell well despite having complete parity, then third party support on Change will most certainly be rather disappointing. Should it turn out to be an achievement, then there ought to be no more major excuse from other developers.

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