Over the years, Nintendo has often been associated with a younger fan-base, and with some of its most famous intellectual properties being Mario, Animal Crossing, and Pokemon, that sentiment is understandable. As you know, it has rarely steered them wrong in the past; they are one of the most successful gaming publishers for a reason. However, Nintendo seems to be pushing for mature software with the Switch. Recent actions by the company are proving once again that it’s not the same company it was just one console generation ago.
Keep in mind, when I say ‘mature’ games, I don’t necessarily mean games that are rated-M. I’m also talking about Nintendo’s first-party line-up of games that are much less ‘hand-holdy’ and offer a greater sense of openness and choice for the player.
While Nintendo platforms have always had their fair share of mature content, it seems now more than ever that The Big N is trying to show gamers it’s not merely Jigglypuffs and Wigglytuffs. For instance, Nintendo is reportedly eager to see more mature games on the Switch, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Nintendo Co. is encouraging some producers of violent or risqué videogames to provide content for its Switch console in an attempt to shed its image as a maker of devices just for families, software developers say.”
She’s Not Dead Yet
Speaking of mature games, you may have heard the recent news of Bayonetta 3 launching exclusively for Nintendo Switch; along with Bayo 1 & 2 hitting Switch early next year. If this Bayonetta 3 deal is anything similar to the Bayonetta 2 Wii U deal, Nintendo is heavily backing the title. Platinum Games, the developer behind the Bayonetta franchise, has previously stated that Bayonetta 2 would have never existed if it wasn’t for Nintendo hunting them down and personally financing the title. That leads me to believe Bayo 3 is a similar situation, which is very surprising considering how mediocre Bayonetta 2 sold on Wii U. Obviously, Nintendo sees ton of potential with Bayonetta. We can only hope the beloved, critically praise franchise finds a larger audience on the Switch.
In terms of Nintendo’s exclusive ‘mature’ output, the publisher has the aforementioned Bayonetta 3 launching next year, as well as another highly anticipated release, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. Suda 51 himself has also stated just how helpful Nintendo has been with bringing Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes to Switch.
Nintendo has been extremely supportive and helpful throughout development of Travis Strikes Again as they were with the first two titles. And in addition to the ease and comfort of working with them, I also simply felt that the Switch would be the perfect platform on which to bring Travis back, from the first time I saw it demonstrated back when it was still called the “NX.”
It’s great to see Nintendo getting some exclusive M-rated games on the Switch. At this point, Bayonetta is pretty much a Nintendo franchise (Bayonetta being a playable fighter in Smash Bros. says it all!).
Aside from mature titles Nintendo is nabbing as exclusives, there’s a growing list of multiplatform M-rated titles making their way to Switch. We’ve already seen heavy hitters like LA NOIRE, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and DOOM. However, we still have the critically praised Wolfenstein II to look forward to next year. As well as the terrifying Outlast series. And who could forget last generation’s PayDay 2? All of this, and more — not to mention there’s the entire indie scene putting out gems like Layers of Fear: Legacy on Switch next year.
The New Nintendo
With the newly added competition of Xbox One X, and Sony’s PlayStation 4 selling like hotcakes, The Big N must do something to entice users to break away from their traditional home consoles, and having a wide array of M-rated games is definitely a way to do it. Nintendo has always been a company willing to adapt and evolve its strategy to align with current gaming trends throughout the company’s long history. I think this is what’s happening. Gaming as an entertainment medium has shifted largely towards ‘mature’ games, and Nintendo is following that in stride.
What do you think? Am I reading into the mature games on Switch too much? Do you think this is a new Nintendo in comparison to Wii and Wii U days? Leave all your thoughts in the comments section below, or on our social media page!