(Originally posted on The Ranting SBox blog on November 5, 2016).
For those joining in for the first time, this is a continuation of a previous post where I run through #Nintendo's list of third-party developers and predict which games they will either develop or port to the upcoming Nintendo Switch. If you'd like to start from the beginning or are looking for a specific developer that on the list, please refer to the bottom of this post for links. Otherwise, welcome back!
In Part 1 we covered from 505 Games all the way to Codemasters and also included DeNA. That means we're about a quarter through the list. This time we'll cover the next 11 companies ranging from letters E through K. Remember, I'm totally skipping the bottom two rows with the exception of DeNA and Epic Games, and I'll be discussing Epic Games in this part.
Electronic Arts (EA)
There are a few names you'd almost expect to be frontlining a new console, including Activision, Ubisoft, and especially #EA. So no one should be surprised that EA will probably be there on the Switch's launch day with at least one game.
Normally I'd say the new FIFA, NHL, and Madden would come to the system, but that'll be a bit tricky due to the system's release date. Those franchises will make it to Switch no matter what, but will is be the FIFA/Madden NFL/NHL 17 or 18. I'm going to bet that 18 will be the more likely to come to the system since it would only be a few months away from the launch. All that's left to wonder about is the launch. I personally think Fe would be an excellent choice for a Switch launch title. It should be released by then and can introduce the whole EA Originals thing to Nintendo audiences. Unravel would also be a good choice.
If Nintendo wants to really prove that they're third-party-friendly, I have the perfect game to sell at launch: Mass Effect: Andromeda. That oughta sell systems.
I realize that #EpicGames is probably developing for the Switch in the same way Unity is developing for the Switch. They could only be providing hardware and tech to the system and not so much games... Though in the case of Epic Games, I'm willing to bet they have a game lined up to show off their Unreal Engine for the Switch. It just so happens that Fortnite is due out next year, so I think it could make its way to the Switch. Or maybe not. Again, maybe they're not providing games to the system, but its more likely than not that they will.
Next to Bethesda, this was the most shocking partnership announcement on the list. #FromSoftware hasn't been on a Nintendo home console since Lost Kingdom on the GameCube and has since made occasional Japanese appearances on the DS and 3DS. I'm sure everyone's excited to see what they have in store for the Nintendo faithful.
My guess is some sort of Dark Souls compilation will be available around the time of launch, but that's a relatively boring option compared to what I'm thinking. What if From Software is making a new exclusive game for Nintendo Switch? Even better, what if they're developing with one of Nintendo's franchises? Those are the things that dreams are made of! It's just too perfect, but which series deserves the Dark Souls treatment? Zelda would be my first choice, followed closely by Metroid. There's an argument to be made for Fire Emblem, too.
I'd want them to make an ironic, tough-as-nails Kirby games just one time. That would be hilarious! I can see all the children crying as they died from the first Waddledee for the eighteenth time. This will never happen, I know, but tell me you wouldn't play that.
#Frozenbyte may be a little known company to many, but they've made waves in recent years within the world of Steam. They're biggest hits include Shadowgrounds, Trine, Splot, and most recently Shawden. Though when it comes to the Nintendo Switch, I think their best bet will be releasing their next game: Nine Parchments. Shawden would also be an acceptable choice.
There is a more likely scenario, though, and it doesn't involve just them. More on that in a second.
If you don't know who #GameTrustGames, you're not alone. The newest developer on the list by far, GameTrust is a game studio sponsored by none other than GameStop. Song of the Deep, made in conjunction with Insomniac, is the company's sole project to date, with three other collaborations on the way. It's partnerships include Tequila Games, Ready At Dawn, and (the big one) Frozenbyte.
Currently we have neither a name nor gameplay for whatever GameTrust and Frozenbyte are working on, but I have a feeling whatever it is will be coming to the Switch. It's possible that GameTrust could be porting one of its other two projects, but this just seems to perfect to mean anything else.
Bare with me, folks. We'll get to the more mainstream developers in just a bit, but for right now let's talk about #GrasshopperGames. In fact, chances are you've heard about this company if you're a fan of No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned, Killer Is Dead, or Lollipop Chainsaw. These guys are what you'd considered a middle-market game developer, one of the few left in the industry. (Middle-market means neither indie nor AAA).
Similar to the Frozenbyte/GameTrust thing, there's reason to believe that Grasshopper will come to the Switch with a collab project. However, there is reason to believe that Grasshopper could be making their own game for the system. In that case I'll bet The Silver Case remake, which is currently on PC and making its way to PS4 early next year, could be the next best bet for a Switch release.
Gung Ho Online Entertainment
#GungHoOnlineEntertainment is a Japanese developer of online RPGs and occassional releases on handhelds. They're not very known in the West, but have recently made some waves with the release of Puzzle & Dragons. Given that Puzzle & Dragon had a lot of success on 3DS, so much so that they even made a version of the game for Mario, I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo opts for the game to make an appearance on the Switch. I'd like to believe it'd be a sequel, but an argument can be made for a upscaled 3DS port.
Now about what I said about Grasshopper doing a collaboration with another developer. It turns out Gung Ho is the parent company of Grasshopper Manufacture. If this in fact a collab project, that can mean one of two things: either Gung Ho's involvement is strictly through Grasshopper, or the two companies could be bringing their recent game Let It Be to the Switch. Both likely, though I honestly prefer the idea of the companies bringing two separate projects to the system.
We're almost out of the woods with little known game devs. Unfortunately with #HamsterCorporation, I'm going to have to draw a blank. While they are a very seasoned game developer going back to the days of the PS1, they don't have many big names to speak of and they're recent offerings include PS4 Sodoku and a compilation game called Arcade Archives, which is a collection of arcade cabinet games from several developers. So, my best bet for these guys is either a port of Arcade Archives, which would be acceptable, or a brand new IP.
Finally, someone I kinda recognize. #IntiCreates is a moderately known developer who is probably known best for their involvement with Mega Man Zero and Mega Man 9. They also helped develop Mighty No. 9, provided artwork for two of the Shantae games, and are currently involved with the upcoming Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. They're more recent claim to fame was their only in-house developed series Azure Striker Gunvolt. It's one of the more popular indie games on the 3DS, and that's why I believe that's the game that will be coming to the Switch. Perhaps both the first and second game will be offered on the eShop or they could be making a third game for the system.
Something about #KoeiTecmo always puts a smile on my face. Whether you know them for Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, Fatal Frame, or Dynasty Warriors, Koei Tecmo's use of tongue-in-cheek, violent, and bouncy gameplay is welcomed on consoles everywhere. I'm actually really glad to see KT supporting Nintendo, as even with the Wii U they were among the few that did.
Now, it should be noted that we actually do know what game KT is bringing to the Switch. It's a game from an old KT franchise called Nobunaga's Ambition, an RPG series that goes back to 1980's Japanese computers and had games released as recently as 2013. Some may know it best from the game Pokemon Conquest, which was a crossover between the two franchises. It's definitely an interesting choice.
However, could there be other KT games on the horizon for the Switch? Maybe. If Hyrule Warriors and Pokemon Conquest were indications of anything, they show that KT has no problem collaborating with Nintendo or utilizing their franchises... Though now that I say it out loud, could they be making another Hyrule Warriors? I like the sound of that. Hopefully it's a sequel and not a port of the first game on Wii U. There's already two versions of the game out, which makes a Switch port seem pointless. I think Hyrule Warriors 2 would be a great Fall or Holiday release for the system.
Hiss!... My apologies, that's involuntary.
You know, I'm very confused with #Konami's presence on the Switch. In fact, I was surprised with their announcement of Metal Gear Survive a few months back. After all that bullshit they caused last year with wanting to get out of the gaming industry, which is totally understandable, why are they continually creating games for new and current systems? It makes no sense!
Anyway, let's put all that drama to the side and focus on the topic at hand: what game are they bringing to Nintendo Switch? My best bet is the upcoming Metal Gear Survive, which I'm predicting will be released in the Summer or Fall. Given that Konami has seemingly no interest in producing much else in the way of gaming content, it would be a miracle to see a Castlevania, Silent Hill, or (real) Metal Gear game come out any time soon. And I'm not just talking about for the Switch; I'm talking in general.
To continue this run-down of Nintendo's third-party partners, click the links below.
- Part 1: 505 Games to DeNA (A-D)
- Part 3: Level-5 to Square Enix (L-S)
- Part 4: Starbreeze to Warner Bros. Interactive (S-Z)
I'm SBox180. Thanks for reading!