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The Nintendo Switch has taken the gaming industry by storm. It was sold out almost every single month for each month it was on the market since March of this year. One of the biggest issues, however, is that third-party support is still rather thin despite the system being a massive seller. But we now have an idea when more third-party titles may finally start to appear: 2019.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Switch's success caught third-party studios by surprise. Due to its popularity a lot of third-party publishers just weren't ready for the Switch and since so many of the studios were slow to the punch there won't be any flooding of big AAA third-party outings until 2019.
According to the chief executive of Japanese magazine GzBrain, Hirokazu Hamamura, the reason for the delay to 2019 is because top name publishers didn't expect the Switch to sell as well as it did, and they're just getting started on new Switch titles now.
Most gamers probably see this as rather myopic given that the Switch was bound to be a success given the fact that it combined Nintendo's home console quality ethos with the ability to pick up and play games on the go. The rather strong focus on local multiplayer and an ardent return to split-screen play, co-op modes, and a free multiplayer service (for the first year) seemed to make the Switch an easy shoo-in for success... right? Well, not according to third-party publishers.
The console practically sold out the day it was released and has stayed mostly sold out around the world from March up until now. It wasn't just until this fall was Nintendo finally able to produce enough supply to start meeting demand.
Instead of chasing higher resolutions and larger storage, the Nintendo Switch focuses on just the opposite: smooth gameplay at moderate resolutions. One of the other selling points for the system is the HD rumble, and motion controls that can be used in TV mode, portable mode and the tabletop mode, making the Switch good for home console play and party play.
Of course, despite all these features that have helped the system sell like crazy all year long, there has been a dearth of third-party support, which isn't uncommon for a Nintendo console. Bethesda was one of the few Western AAA studios to commit multiple AAA games to the Switch, with Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, DOOM, and Skyrim slated for the Switch. Electronic Arts tested the waters with a stripped down version of FIFA 18 and Ubisoft provided a second-party exclusive in the form of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle.
However, third-party AAA exclusives are seemingly absent from the Switch's library, along with expected ports of heavy hitters like Call of Duty: WW2 and Star Wars: Battlefront II. Some publishers took a wait and see approach after the Wii U crashed and burned on the market after it released back in 2012. The Nintendo Switch, however, is already catching up to the global install base of the Wii U, and is expected to surpass that figure before March of 2018. Sadly, gamers will have to wait until 2019 before the real big games from AAA publishers start to arrive.