Nintendo’s Damon Baker on why some indies get accepted on the Switch and some don’t

How do you explain Vroom in the Night Sky

Nintendo indie head Damon Baker recently spoke to Kotaku regarding its indie policy, just to clarify things a bit. He notes that while some startups and small studios have had troubles getting onto the Switch eShop, they’ve been more open than ever:

I think the best way to explain it is, over the last year we have been evolving past what was initially more of a curated content position to now a curated partnership position. So part of the pitch process for new developers or new publishers who come on board with Switch is to not just pitch us a brand new game or a brand new concept, but to use that opportunity to prove their background, their aptitude as a developer and whether they’re going to be able to navigate through what can be a complicated process of going through the development cycle, and certification, and all of that. So that’s part of our evaluation.

He goes on to further clarify:

I can’t really disclose all of our guidelines, but I can tell you that those partners that are able to instill a level of trust and confidence in us that they’re going to be very capable of getting through the development process and are knowledgeable about bringing content out on consoles, those are the ones that are resonating in terms of bringing that content out and it doing well on the system. Some of those developers do have a negative reaction or are bummed because we haven’t opened up the door to hobbyists or students at this time. But one day, we may. We may be going towards that direction. But for now, we’re still staying the course in terms of a closed dev environment for Switch.

But how does that explain the decision to go ahead and approve the infamous clunker Vroom in the Night Sky?

Joking aside (I’m not really joking, Vroom is one of the worst eShop games in years), Poisoft did have a good rep before its release so that sort of makes sense. Still, I can see why some people would be upset that a few things slipped through the cracks simply because of clout while their more quality works are being denied. We’ll see how it shakes out from here, but the Switch isn’t wanting for games at all.

Switch’s Success Means A Changing Nintendo [Kotaku]

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!