Indie Games Can Survive on Switch Early
Indie developers with games near completion need to push their products to market for the first few months following the launch of the Nintendo Switch. Your average Switch owner will be very busy with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but how long will that last. Within a month, you will see the drop off begin and people will be looking for what’s next. With what seems like minimal interest in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, there is an open window for some indie games to make a big impact.
I’ve been loving all the indie games coming to the Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One, but games that land around major releases never get on my radar, or if they do, not for very long. So we can rule out having success in March, and probably rule out having success during the holiday season. However, there is a huge gap that needs to be filled by something as there doesn’t appear to be any games with universal appeal. Enter the indie game.
We know developers are working hard to get their products to market for the Switch launch, and I commend them for it. Over the past number of years, I’ve interviewed many indie developers – my favorite of which was the crew over at Image and Form – and the number one thing I hear (paraphrase) is, “You can work years on a game, but it can all be for nothing if your launch window is A) trumped by a major release, or B) is too crowded.
That what will make the launch of the Switch so interesting. Nintendo does have a lot of games, but very few of them come with solid release dates. That leaves indie developers guessing when they should release. If I’m a developer – which I’m not, so my opinion matters very little – I’m aiming for the June-August window. The dog days of summer can be slow in the video game world, so why not pop your title during that window. If it has appeal, it should do well, especially on a system that will be starving for first year titles.
What do you think? Would you propose a different window to launch an indie title?