The indie market has grown to enormous sizes since the launch of the Wii U, and the console never became the bastion that Nintendo originally hoped it would be. Sony eventually overtook that throne, but at the same time, it flooded its market with a lot of awful games that nobody should ever spend money on. Plenty of excellent titles too, but yeah… I’ve been burned a few times through the PlayStation.
Nintendo is not looking to change its approach to how it selects indie games, meaning that if you buy an indie game through the Switch, it is good enough to survive Nintendo’s rigorous selection process.
Nintendo of America’s Head of Partner Management Damon Baker recently spoke with Gamasutra and said that Nintendo is “being very selective” in who is allows to develop for the Switch, including indies.
Right now we are being very selective about who we’re letting into the development environment, and through our portal. Whereas with the Wii U and 3DS, we opened that up to everybody. I think our mentality was to cast that big net, [but] you’d never know when the next great piece of content was coming, or where it was gonna come from, or where it was going to permeate.
This time around, we’re going to be a lot more conservative. We don’t want to open up the floodgates quite yet.
Good for Nintendo
As with Steam Greenlight and the rest of the attempts to filter out games, some will take this news harshly. For every indie game developed, there is another person out there who will definitely buy it. I’m all for a free market with indie games and allowing anybody to find their own success, but that’s through Steam. There is something to be said about an indie game being published on a closed system like the Switch or the PlayStation 4.
It means that it has some form of official backing, and that means companies I trust are putting their support behind it, leading to me possibly make a purchase for something I’ll regret.
Nintendo is holding the option to make sure it gets a reasonable rating system and quality control in place for the time being, and good for it. You have to prove yourself if you want Nintendo’s seal of quality.