CIRCLE Entertainment talks about moving from Wii U/3DS to Switch, plus future Switch plans

A portion of a Nintendo Life interview with CIRCLE Entertainment...

NL: CIRCLE recently started supporting Switch; how does this new console differ from say, the 3DS or Wii U in terms of development options and revenue potential?

CE: Well, I think the Switch picture is constantly evolving. 2017 will surely be looked back on as a bit of a bubble – in the first few months Nintendo actively curated and therefore controlled output to 3-6 new games a week, and eager new owners snapped up releases in huge numbers. By Fall / Winter, though, we started getting 20+ games a week, and that’s the norm now. So in terms of revenue potential the game has changed. You can have a smash hit like Enter the Gungeon or Celeste (based on their eShop chart placings), a reasonable result, or disasters are possible, where a game arrives with 20 others and dies a painful death. Of the two games I’ve been involved in so far we’ve had what (I think!) are reasonable results, helped by the fact that CIRCLE / Flyhigh are known quantities and that the games had appeal to specific audiences. Part of my job is to try and keep those interested in our stuff involved and intrigued about what’s next, and we have to keep pushing to release cool games.

Based on a bit of research I think the Switch is settling into numbers maybe reflective of the sorts of sales most would see on 3DS. There’s still loads of enthusiasm among early owners, which means that if your game is decent and you get the word out you might survive release windows with 20 other games. It’s scary, though, and outside of occasional big winners it’s a challenge for everyone.

As for development options, I can talk to the sorts of games we’re publishing in the future. There’s a mix of console games, PC games that’ll make their console debut on Switch, some exclusives, and some that originated on mobile. The last one often draws some grumbles, but I think the likes of VOEZ, Deemo and OPUS: The Day We Found Earth show that games with mobile origins can have a lot to offer. In March we have games previously on PC and, yes, mobile, on the way, but all actually suit the system. That’s the thing with Switch though, it’s whatever you want it to be – you can make games you think people should play on a TV, you can make ‘portable / handheld’ games, or use touch controls if you fancy that. As a result that means games can be really varied.

NL: Could you tell us what plans CIRCLE has for Switch in 2018?

CE: We've just released World Conqueror X, while OPUS: Rocket of Whispers and Shelter Generations are very close. We’ve got a pretty long list of games on the way, some global, some ‘Western’ and some Asia-only. One that is confirmed is Picontier, from some of the same talent as Kamiko, and we have a pretty interesting range of confirmed games on our super-secret spreadsheet. We’re also actively talking about others, and as always someone from the team will be at major expos and dev events to meet developers and talk about their games; we’ll be at GDC, for example, looking for cool games that can make a splash on Switch.

from GoNintendo


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