Remaster Kings Nightdive Studios Want To Bring Eternal Darkness To Switch

Remaster Kings Nightdive Studios Want To Bring Eternal Darkness To Switch

Maybe if we will it into existence, Eternal Darkness on Switch will happen.

We’re seeing more and more ports of older and classic games coming to the Nintendo Switch. Perhaps Nintendo wants to bolster its library to compete with everyone else. Maybe devs are just trying to take advantage of the portable hardware they have with the Switch in comparison to previous consoles. Either way, “you’re seeing it more and more”.

One contender in the handling of remasters and enhanced ports race is Nightdive Studios. The studio is responsible for bringing a myriad of classic games to the Switch, including Turok 1 and 2, Quake, Doom 64, Shadow Man Remastered, and most recently PowerSlave: Exhumed. Nightdive’s CEO Stephen Kick popped up on Twitter the other day to give a little insight into talks they’ve had with Nintendo in the past about remasters, noting one game in particular that they’re very keen to work on.

Eternal Darkness is quite an interesting title. An adult, psychological horror game produced as a first-party Nintendo exclusive. That it happened at all feels like a minor miracle. Considering Nintendo’s dedication to its family-friendly image, the release of this game on GameCube was an unexpected move. It was widely praised by reviewers and won multiple awards, but was not a commercial success, passing into “have you ever played” cult status almost immediately. Given all of this, it’s understandable that Nightdive has Eternal Darkness in its sights. I reached out to Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick to gain a little more insight into his comments.

How have your conversations with Nintendo been so far in terms of porting more games to the Switch?

We’ve ported a number of titles to Switch – Turok, Turok 2, Quake, Doom 64, Shadow Man Remastered and most recently PowerSlave: Exhumed. We’ve reached out to Nintendo, but their classic IP appears to be off the table for remastering efforts.

There are some wonderful remakes and new titles coming from 3rd parties working with Nintendo, so it’s my hope the doors are starting to open again. Our discussions occurred during the time of the Gigaleak so I would totally understand why they’d be hesitant to share assets, perhaps it was just bad timing, but we’re always open to renewing those discussions.

What draws you towards porting Eternal Darkness to the Switch?

For me it’s the Lovecraftian theme of the game that really appeals to me. I was always on the lookout for games directly inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and back then there really wasn’t much to choose from. I had played the classic point and click adventure games, “Shadow of the Comet” and “Prisoner of Ice,” but besides the original “Alone in the Dark” there really wasn’t much out there.

Not only was Eternal Darkness a true Lovecraftian horror game, but it was a truly great game that really nailed the cosmic horror aspect of Lovecraft’s work, and to this day there are few games that have, despite the abundance of games that take direct influence.

I feel like GameCube had some of the best IPs out there, but very few GameCube games have actually received ports to newer consoles since their original releases. Why do you think that is, and does Nightdive have hope to change that?

I think it’s easy to underestimate how much time and passion it takes to produce a remaster of a classic title for modern hardware. There are also many factors that play into the success rate of delivering something that both improves the game while also paying respect to the original experience.

We understand that large corporations always have to consider their bottom line which is why we’ve seen cost effective solutions like emulation utilized for a number of re-releases. Unfortunately it comes at the cost of quality which in the long run can be harmful to the franchise and the fans of those franchises.

I believe Nightdive has come a long way in proving that delivering a remaster chock full of improvements, bug fixes, support for modern hardware, restored content and cross platform capabilities is the way to go. We’ve certainly seen a great deal of success with our titles, especially in the retro gaming community.

Eternal Darkness is one of those games that you didn’t see coming, but when it did it was worth the whiplash. We definitely won’t be seeing a sequel or a spiritual successor anytime soon due to the original studio disbanding a decade after Nintendo cancelled the sequel, and multiple attempts to make a spiritual successor by the game’s original writer and director Denis Dyack have been unsuccessful. Considering that, it would be great to see a remaster of the title on Switch. The more GameCube remasters and ports, the better, I say!

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