Are you finding the eShop bloated?
For roughly six years now I’ve been cataloging eShop releases for the 3DS, Wii U, and Switch on a weekly basis (I haven’t missed a week in years!). Over time, you start to notice some trends. I remember the first time the Switch eShop started to completely overtake the Wii U storefront and the day the 3DS began to slowly fade. As they say: numbers don’t lie.
Back in July, Nintendo senior executive officer Susumu Tanaka noted that Nintendo wanted to host “around 20 to 30 indie releases per week” on the Switch eShop, and since then they’ve stuck to their word. The company has consistently hit the 20-game mark (if not above) for the past 14 weeks, but they hit a new milestone with the period between October 26 through October 30 — 36 indies just on Switch (with one Wii U and one 3DS game each to boot), not including bigger games like My Hero’s One Justice from Bandai Namco or the LEGO Harry Potter Collection from WB.
Now there are a few caveats to the point where you can start slicing off a few games, like whether or not the NeoGeo Strikers 1945 Plus and Arcade Archives Ninja-Kid II retro re-releases can be classified as “indie” in 2018 (they’re ported by indie companies like Hamster based on big-time IP). But even then you’re left with 34 digital indie releases in a one-week period on one platform. That’s insane and up there with mobile weekly release drops.
Is it too much? Well it depends on how well you’re getting along with the Switch eShop at the moment. Having used it since day one I’m not too impressed despite love for the minimalist design. The nominal upgrades made in the past year haven’t been that impressive, as newer releases are still scrunched together with some projects not even appearing on the list until after they’ve launched (Swery’s The Missing didn’t have a proper Nintendo.com page until roughly one week after it came out and wasn’t listed in the official October 11 email blast.
It’s clear that some things are slipping through the cracks. I get that everyone is rushing for Switch gold in the hills and Nintendo needs to dump a ton of games off at some point, but given how make or break a release week is for indies, they need more of a spotlight if there’s going to be room for long-term success.
But this is just one man’s opinion, having researched trends and spoken to indie studios first-hand about their experience with the Switch eShop. How are you finding it?