Bethesda confirms long-term ambitions on Switch

Bethesda says Skyrim and DOOM ports are just the beginning of the publisher’s games coming to Nintendo Switch.

After avoiding Nintendo consoles for more than a decade, it seems Bethesda is finally ready to make a full leap onto the platform. With Skyrim releasing on the Switch on November 17, 2017 and DOOM scheduled to release sometime in December, Bethesda’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications Pete Hines made it clear this is just the start.

“We’re obviously excited about these two games, but it’s not as if we’re going to just do these two games and that’s it,” Hines told GamesBeat. “We want this to be the start of a relationship that we build with Nintendo and Nintendo fans.”

With the number of rereleases and new platform ports, Skyrim coming to Switch seemed like an obvious first release for Bethesda. Hines said the move was partially because many who only play on Nintendo’s consoles probably missed the game since it originally released back in 2011.

“We haven’t done anything on a Nintendo platform in forever,” Hines said. “I don’t know what the exact size is, but some number of people who own Switches have never played Skyrim before. It’s a new thing for them, and for folks who have played the game, the ability to take it on the road — you’re going on a trip or commuting to work, it’s a great time.”

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Hines also told GamesBeat the publisher is always very careful about selecting platforms to support. While Skyrim’s port has generated a lot of buzz, Hines seems particularly proud of Bethesda’s work bringing DOOM to the Switch.

“… But we feel like we have something that represents [DOOM] and looks really good. Some games may look as good as Doom on the Switch, but I’m not sure that anything looks better. It’s an impressive-looking game and it’s still really fun to play.”

As reported earlier this week, DOOM on Nintendo Switch will run at 30fps on Nintendo Switch with a dynamic resolution that caps at 720p both docked and undocked. While this is half the framerate and a much lower resolution than other current-gen hardware, Bethesda argues that the portability of the platform more than makes up for the reduced fidelity.

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Those following Nintendo and Bethesda already know there’s a third Bethesda game on Switch’s horizon. As revealed during a Nintendo Direct earlier this month, Wolfenstein II The New Colossus, will be ported to the Switch sometime in 2018.

Bethesda has a huge backlog of games from the past decade that it could consider porting. For example, 2014’s Wolfenstein The New Order is obvious choice seeing as Bethesda and developer Machine Games are already working on porting the sequel. Additionally, Shinji Mikami, best known for his work on the Resident Evil franchise and more recently The Evil Within and The Evil Within 2 (out October 13, 2017), told GameSpot he had an interest in porting The Evil Within 2.

“I think a Switch version would be interesting,” Mikami told GameSpot. “I’d like to try it if I had the chance.”

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His words are far from concrete evidence that the Evil Within franchise is coming to the Switch, but with developer interest along with Bethesda and Nintendo’s new relationship, it’s something to keep an eye on.

Other recent releases from Bethesda might make sense on Switch, like the Dishonored franchise. While the sequel and the Death of the Outsider standalone DLC occasionally challenged Xbox One and PS4 hardware, the first Dishonored game was built around the Xbox 360 and PS3, meaning a port to the more powerful Switch might make it a prime candidate. After debuting on Xbox One earlier this year, it would also be interesting to see Fallout Shelter come to another console. The Switch’s touchscreen would be a comfortable place to enjoy Fallout Shelter, which was originally designed to be played on phones and tablets.

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Of course, all of these predictions are just that. Instead, Nintendo Switch owners can count on ports of Skyrim, DOOM and Wolfenstein II in the next year, and based on Hine’s words, there’ll be even more coming to the platform in the future.

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