Ever since launch, indie games on the Switch have been a pretty major focus for Nintendo. The company has done a good job of wooing indie developers over to its new platform, and in its first year of availability, the Switch saw the launch of a number of popular indie titles. Not only that, but Nintendo has hosted a handful of livestream presentations – known as Nindies Showcases – that are entirely devoted to giving upcoming indie games for the Switch some exposure.
Nintendo, of course, should recognize better than any other console manufacturer that third-party support is often just as important as first-party support. Nintendo’s consoles have historically been criticized for lack of third-party support, so it’s been nice to see this focus on indies with the Switch.
During a GDC 2018 presentation, Damon Baker, who serves as Nintendo of America’s senior manager for publisher and developer relations, noted that 70% of the Switch titles that have earned a rating of 75 or higher on Metacritic are indie titles. If it wasn’t clear before, it should be now: Support from indie developers will be crucial to the Switch’s success as time goes on, especially when you consider that the Switch may not be powerful enough to run ports of some larger triple-A titles.
Baker also talked about the top ten best-selling indie games for the Switch. The list, which was given with no particular order, features a lot of games that will be familiar to those who enjoy buying and playing indie titles. Check it out below:
SteamWorld Dig 2
Enter the Gungeon
Overcooked: Special Edition
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
Some of these titles, such as Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Enter the Gungeon, and Stardew Valley found success on other platforms before launching on the Switch. Others, such as Fast RMX and Kamiko, likely benefited greatly by launching early on, at a time when the only notable game on the Switch was Breath of the Wild. In most cases, it seems safe to assume that the portability factor played a role in the success of these games on the Switch, as it could have very well tempted people into buying these games for a second or third time.
Nintendo shows no signs of losing its focus on bringing new and existing indie games to the Switch. Yesterday, the company held another Nindies Showcase, announcing a handful of games that will launch for the Switch in the first half of 2018. Many of these freshly announced titles will either be timed or console exclusives for the Switch, so it’s clear that Nintendo doesn’t mind throwing some money around to make the Switch an attractive destination for developers, which is definitely a good thing.