Or “Nintendo, can I please get my weekends back?”
One of the fun features of the website is that it preserves the Talkback threads in the article proper, basically serving a function of a comment section but with actual moderation. Recently, friend of the site Syrenne took time out from her vacation to dig up this psychopathic comment from a 2010 blog post (yes, we had blogs at one point) by Neal called “This Week In Awful Downloads” and drop it in the Discord:
“I don't want Nintendo doing an XBL or PSN. I want them to rip Steam off wholesale, though - since everything's gratis and focused on just games.
I'd also like the epic sales, but that'll never happen while Nintendo's a publicly traded company.”
And of course, the absolute psychopath who made that post was me. If you want to insert an entire monkey’s paw curling here, I don’t blame you, as twelve years later the eShop has become like Steam. Except back then, Steam actually paid lip service to curation and there weren’t a thousand games going up on the store every week (the post predates Steam Greenlight and Early Access). The original post came from a week that had one WiiWare game and three DSiWare “games”: the quotes are used as one of the releases was from that banger of a DSiWare series called “My Notebook”.
Last year at this time, I posted a column pointing out that there were 1,925 games published on the Switch eShop. I was able to lock in the total number of releases for 2022 on December 31, and the final total for North America this year stood at 2086. For the record, Europe was only four behind by my tracking and Japan had 1641. But let’s drop some facts here from the North American data (all data from a Google sheet so you can check my numbers):
- The shop averaged 40 releases a week, and if you add a one-day week since January 1 fell on a Saturday, the average drops to 39
- The 60 game high the week of September 30/21 was trumped by a 66 game week the week of January 20/22
- There were three weeks of more than 50 games in 2021: it happened twelve times in 2022, including passing the 2021 total in April and a run of 11 weeks that put up 50+ releases eight times
- 2086 games is more games than the 3DS and Wii U had combined, including delisted games
- Over the last two years 4111 games have launched on Switch; the combined total of the NES, Super Nintendo, N64, GameCube, and Wii (including WiiWare and Virtual Console releases) is 4264 so we’ll probably pass that by the end of January 2023
I thought the pandemic was supposed to be stalling game development!
But based on how a lot of these games look, that’s only true for major releases. The parade of kusoge was bad in 2021 with publishers such as Pix Arts, but at least they tended to stick to a release a week. The likes of Midnight Works, Cooking and Publishing (who had a game yanked from the eShop for flagrantly ripping off Mini Metro and surprisingly HAVEN’T been banned for it), INSTAMARKETINGANDGAME, Piotr Skalski, VG Games, Benjamin Kistler… if these continue to plop their Unity compiles / plagiarism / games that make The Letter on Wii U look like Xenoblade Chronicles 3 by comparison on the eShop, this number’s only going to go up and I’m going to spend most of my weekends adding profiles to the site for games I wish I could slap the “Cancelled” tag on. I would REALLY like to finish XC3 this year, but it’s kind of hard for me to play action RPGs and type up “Infected run to Survive Zombie Apocalypse Survival Story Shooter Dead Cry” simultaneously. (I swear to Arceus and Naga above, I did not make that up: it launched the last week of December.)
I borrowed the Simpsons quote last year “there are too many Switch publishers, please eliminate thirty, I am not a crackpot”, and got so desperate at some point I literally asked RFN about bringing back the NES-era annual limits on releases. In the end, something pretty drastic has to be done about the lack of quality controls or actual good publishers are going to step away from the platform since their potentially quality product is going to get buried by shovelware and bundles which seemingly only exist to get the game to the top of the eShop. Nintendo, you stopped 99% off sales from clogging up that popular list; maybe it’s time to ban games from having more than two bundles and put the people behind AAA Clock out of business.
And maybe give a bit more than a minute’s notice before major games drop two days before Christmas. Right, Sports Story?
Screenshot image posted by Daan Koopman on Twitter (@NintenDaan)