Switch Sports proves Nintendo’s extreme patience has paid off

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In the mid-2000s, Wii Sports is the biggest game on the planet. If Activision, EA, or Ubisoft had published a minigame collection, we’d have dozens of sequels and a reboot at this point – possibly an animated show on Nickelodeon. For better or for worse, Wii Sports is a Nintendo franchise, so instead we have a sequel, a remake, and a decade of radio silence.

As a fan of the title, I’m frustrated every time Nintendo finishes a press conference or Nintendo Direct without mentioning motion-controlled bowling. But as an editor who has been covering this beat since the days of the Wii, I understand all of its business logic. Nintendo has so many beloved studios that they could eat each other if each series had a sequel that fans felt they deserved.

So I waited. And I waited. And I waited.

When the publisher announces Nintendo Switch Sports Last year, I lost all hope. I assumed that if Nintendo wanted to take advantage of the Wii Sports formula, it would produce another bundle for the Switch. I was wrong in every way.

As the sales numbers (and empty store shelves at my local Target) show, Nintendo doesn’t need a packaged game to sell the Switch. And where? Wii Sports helped sell the Nintendo Wiis, the Switch’s success is likely to make Nintendo Switch Sports a giant blow. This year alone, the Switch overtook the Wii in terms of total sales, over 100 million units sold. That is, the potential audience for Nintendo Switch Sports is giant. And should Nintendo Switch Sports do the classics of Nintendo games, amassing huge sales numbers over the years, then the game will keep the Switch relevant as it enters the golden years of its hardware lifecycle.

Once again, Nintendo has proven that patience is a virtue. We saw a similar situation last year with Metroid Dreada project that has been in development since 2005. Whether a publisher waits for the right moment to revive a series or keep a project in poor development, the end result is the same. each other: a sustainable quality that their peers don’t match (and probably never will).

Until recently, the saying “a game delayed is good in the end, but a game in a hurry is forever bad” was miscredited for Nintendo icon and creator Mario Shigeru Miyamoto. However, it’s more likely that the quote is just a common phrase in the gaming industry, a sort of aphorism that helps advertisers push the accounting team back a month or two. I like to think that Miyamoto doesn’t equate this phrase, because that means every major publisher in the game industry knows this mantra is true. Only Nintendo has survived because of it.

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