The future of video games is finally looking brighter. Some of you might look at the loot boxes and predatory gambling tactics plaguing the AAA industry and argue otherwise. You’re not looking in the right place. The reason I believe games may finally turn around is the Nintendo Switch.
Do you know what one of the top-selling games of 2018 is, thanks to that system? It’s not shovelware. It’s not Generic Macho Man Bro Shooter #595. It’s not Awkward Waggle-Control Spectacle and it’s not $60 Game That Costs Another $60 To Play Longer Than Three Minutes. It’s Celeste, an indie title from a tiny studio called “Matt Makes Games.” Celeste isn’t selling because of a multimillion-dollar ad campaign or because Drake was seen with it or because it’s famous for being famous. It’s at the top because it’s GOOD, and for no other reason.
Do you know how long it’s been since I could say that?
Top 10 Best-Selling Indie Games on Switch
- Enter the Gungeon
- Fast RMX
- Golf Story
- NBA Playgrounds
- Overcooked Special Edition
- Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
- Stardew Valley
- SteamWorld Dig 2
The Switch is the first platform in a long time, not just from Nintendo but from anyone, where the cream is rising to the top. Where anyone can try their hardest and scrap together their best effort and have that work pay off. The Switch makes you believe in the American Dream, despite being a Japanese product.
Of course, now that everyone knows how well indie games sell on Switch, everyone and their dog wants a piece. Since anyone can make a game these days, the market is about to be flooded, and it could potentially become harder for any singular title to stand out.
Fortunately, Nintendo is aware of that coming problem. They’re actually making an effort to nurture their indie game community — they released a “Nindies Showcase” video yesterday showing off eight of the most interesting games coming to the system. The eShop’s interface, however, was designed for a limited number of games and new titles are quickly becoming lost. A Nintendo rep said at GDC that “steps are being taken over the course of this year to improve discoverability and visibility” as well as reduce the “limitations of Nintendo eShop.”
It feels good to be optimistic about video games again. Now go purchase some indie stuff.