Ni no Kuni and Yo-Kai Watch developer Level-5 details its plans to support the Nintendo Switch, confirming that it will not be releasing a game at launch.
When the Nintendo Switch releases next year, it will have plenty of third-party support. Companies like Battlefield 1 publisher Electronic Arts, Red Dead Redemption publisher Take-Two Interactive, and Call of Duty publisher Activision are planning to release games on the platform, giving hope to gamers disappointed by the Wii U's notorious lack of third-party support. Ni no Kuni and Yo-Kai Watch creator Level-5 is another company on that list and it has now detailed how it plans to support the console.
Speaking to Vandal, Level-5's CEO Akihiro Hino explained, "We intend to make games for the Nintendo Switch, but I think that it’s very important to get the most out of the console. For that reason, there surely wont be a title of ours on launch, but when we find the way to take advantage of it, we will work with it."
At this point, the full extent of Switch features haven't yet been confirmed, though the console could support VR, and rumors suggest that it may feature a 720p multi-touch screen. So, perhaps these will be a huge part of Level-5's first Nintendo Switch title.
Though Level-5's explanation makes a lot of sense — it wants to make a good game that makes best use of the console — some have fans have suggested that this is just the developer's way of seeing whether the Switch is successful and therefore worth developing for or not. At this stage, important details about the Switch, such as price and battery life, which are important factors in whether someone buys the console are not, have not been disclosed. Nintendo's own Switch sales estimates are relatively conservative too, and there is some skepticism from investors and analysts about whether the console will be able to reverse the Wii U's poor sales trend or merely follow in its footsteps.
Moreover, some fans have expressed concern that Level-5 won't be releasing a title at launch. The Yo-Kai Watch series has sold over 10 million copies, while the first Ni no Kuni game sold over 1 million copies so it stands to reason that a Level-5 game at launch could help the Switch's sales get off to a flying start. While it's not as though the Switch is doomed without a Level-5 title, it certainly would have been a big boost and it will be up to titles like Just Dance 2017 and (possibly) Skyrim to pull their weight.
Nintendo Switch is set to launch in March 2017.