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According to Nintendo, their dedication to making the Switch a home for indies will remain as strong in year two and beyond as it has over the past 12 months.
The Nintendo Switch had a killer first year, but that wasn't solely due to big first party games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, or even major third party offerings like Bethesda's ports of DOOM and Skyrim. While those games may have provided the console's skeleton, indies were the connective tissue. That's a relationship Nintendo hopes to keep growing in the years ahead.
IGN recently had a chat with Kirk Scott, manager of business development at Nintendo of America's Publisher and Developer Relations department. According to Scott, Nintendo is well aware of the symbiotic relationship the Switch has had with indie developers during its first year, and the aim is to strengthen those very relationships moving forward.
Over the Switch's first year, we've seen everything from Stardew Valley and Super Meat Boy to Steamworld Dig 2 and Enter the Gungeon thrive on the Switch. That's especially noteworthy for a couple of reasons. For starters, Nintendo made sure there was at least one major AAA game launching on their new platform every month this past year, the kind of first-party schedule you would typically expect to suck all of the air out of the room for any competition. Secondly, pretty much every major indie (Or Nindie, as they like to call them) had already arrived on other platforms. Finally, even though the Switch did exceedingly well for its first year, the audience was still limited by the number of consoles available on the market, so it isn't like the consumer pool was astronomical or anything.
Despite that, Nindies did well. This is partially attributed to the fact that Nintendo has kept the games front and center. They've been included in their own Nintendo Direct updates, they've sent out press releases about these games and they've given them top billing on the eShop until something new rolls in to take their place.
With a whole bunch of additional indies already known to be heading to the platform and games like Dead Cells and Aegis Defender being announced this past week, it doesn't look like things are slowing down for the "little guys" on Nintendo's fan-favorite platform. And we hope they stick to that formula. It helped them have a standout first year, and we like that, based on Scott's comments, Nintendo is treating the Switch as a place where smaller developers can grow and thrive.