It’s evident indie games are selling well on the Nintendo Switch with ongoing reports of successful sales, but why exactly do these games continue to perform so well on this particular platform? At PAX Australia in October, a bunch of indie developers got together for a special panel in an attempt to shed some light on this subject.
Ash Ringrose from SMG Studios said Death Squared sells more per day on Switch than it does over the course of an entire week on Steam, and this is still happening after 400 days. He went as far as saying the game sold “really badly” on other platforms when compared to Switch sales data. His theory is it’s not just about simply releasing any old game, it’s about providing this audience with quality experiences:
It’s not just put it on Switch and you’ve got an instant hit. I think the audience now still wants a good game. I think for us we got in quite early, we were quite lucky. But even the sales now we’re quite happy with, so it’s quite a healthy platform if you’re quite noisy about your game as well.
Henrik Pettersson from The Voxel Agents – the developer behind The Gardens Between – credited the success of indies partly to Nintendo. 60 percent of sales for this particular game have been on Switch so far, with Pettersson explaining:
I think I attribute that a bit to Nintendo’s help in terms of promoting the game and also that this new platform that people are really engaging in.
Matthew Rowland from League of Geeks said Armello during its short time on Switch didn’t really have any comparable sales data but did note how the Switch audience was more open to different types of games than users of other platforms:
Certainly the audience for the Switch for Armello seems more amenable to that kind of game than PlayStation or Xbox as just like a benefit there tonally there, I think.
Harmonious Games’ Joe Park said the success of Putty Pals on Switch was because of the local co-op in the game, which clearly didn’t appeal to the PC market. In the first day on the Switch, the game outsold the previous eight months on PC:
I think that’s also because our game was a local co-op game as well, which don’t do well on PC, which we kind of found out the hard way.