Only Two Of The Current Top 10 Most-Downloaded Games On Switch Were Made By Nintendo

Indie games are selling phenomenally on the Switch's eShop — better even than Nintendo's games.

That Stardew Valley is the current best seller on the Switch eShop shouldn't surprise anyone. Switch owners have been clamoring for the game since it was announced that it would launch on the platform last year.

What is more interesting is that the top ten eShop games are mostly indie titles. Only one of those, Golf Story, is a Switch exclusive. Seven of those games were released on other platforms long before they launched on the Switch. By contrast, the top twenty recent sellers on the Nintendo 3DS is dominated by Pokémon and Mario games.

When I spoke briefly to Brjann Sigurgeirsson, CEO of the SteamWorld Dig 2 development company Image & Form, over email, he said, "The Switch version of SWD2 is doing many, many times better than any of the other platforms."

It's a sentiment that's been echoed by other developers. According to publishing director for publisher Curve Digital in an interview with MVC, The Flame in the Flood had, "its best ever day on any console since we've been publishing it, beating any other format we have launched on. It's done just under half of our first full month forecast in a day."

FDG Entertainment, the publisher for Oceanhorn has also said that the game sold more on the Switch than "all other consoles combined."

I had not anticipated the Switch becoming the cool indie games machine, but in retrospect it's a no-brainer. Most of these top sellers are sharp games that already had audiences on other platforms, and now you can take them on the bus.

I'm looking forward to seeing even more games get a second life on a console I love playing.


    I know it's not the same as big third-party titles but I think this goes a long way toward addressing the struggles of the past few generations with regard to a lack of support.

    To be fair, Nintendo is concentrating on larger games on the platform, and as of today they have only published seven games on the platform (1-2-Switch, Breath of the Wild, Flip Wars, Arms, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8, Snipperclips). They'll have published 11 by the end of the year (addition of Fire Emblem Warriors, Mario Odyssey, Snipperclips Plus, Xenoblade 2) so there's technically no way they could have filled out the top 10 themselves anyway.

    And to head this off: Mario & Rabbids is Ubisoft-published and the old Nintendo arcade games like Mario Bros are actually published by Hamster.

    It would be interesting to do some research into why this is. My guess is it's some combination of:
    - Indie developers are more agile and can release games faster.
    - Nintendo tend to go for spaced out, high impact titles.
    - AAA studios are still hesitant about the Switch and only seem to be porting the titles that are selling well enough on other platforms to recoup potential losses.

    My guess as an armchair market analyst is that the Switch will become like the Vita in that it is favoured by indies and mid-tier studios but unlike the Vita it will have strong first party support.

      AAA studios are still hesitant about the Switch and only seem to be porting the titles that are selling well enough on other platforms to recoup potential losses.
      Probably also a factor that it's difficult, therefore time-consuming, therefore expensive, for AAA studios to port their games because the hardware resources are not on par with the lead platforms. However, this is far less of a problem for the indie games!

    Aren't people more likely to buy the physical copies of Nintendo games?
    This is for most "downloaded games".

    The headline should have been - indie games do good sell on the Swatch download list... (take that grammarly)

    Don't want to burst the bubble, but Nintendo games are usually bought as hardcopy, personally from experience

      Not so sure anymore. I've started getting the big Nintendo games as digital purchases for convenience. The chances I'll ever want to trade Mario kart is low.

    They're popular download titles because there's no option to buy them as a physical cartridge.

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