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GungHo on bringing Ninjala to Switch, addresses comparisons to Splatoon

GungHo teased a major announcement for Switch prior to E3 2018, and at the big show they delivered on their promise with the reveal of Ninjala. GungHo seems to think Ninjala can make a big splash on Switch, and GungHo Entertainment CEO Kazuki Morishita explained why.

“Making a new intellectual property, we believe we can succeed on console. We wanted to make an action game where you pretend you’re a kid and imitating a ninja. That’s where the inspiration comes from, but we didn’t want to make it too violent.

The Japanese market is really special, where the big emphasis is on mobile. In the West, there are different play styles that are popular. That’s why we want to expand and achieve worldwide growth.”

Morishita also addressed the comments comparing Ninjala to Splatoon.

“It plays very different from Splatoon, but we take that as a compliment. It’s a point game, where you try to rack up the most points. We don’t see that many cartoon action battle games in America or Europe.”

IGN - Nintendo says Yoshi Switch is making "really good progress," expect an update on the game later this year

Yoshi Switch wasn't part of Nintendo's E3 2018 showcase, and we know that the game has been pushed back to 2019. Should we start to worry about the title? In an IGN interview, Nintendo's Bill Trinen says things are going quite well for the game.

"It's actually been making really good progress. They decided they wanted to make some improvements, so they're going to take just a little bit more time on it and that's why we're not showing it this year at the show, but I think you can look forward to some updates on it later in 2018."

Dark Horse details how their partnership with Nintendo came about, talks Hyrule Historia sales, and confirms future collaborations

The following comes from a Nintendo Life interview with Dark Horse editor Patrick Thorpe...

NL: Nintendo and Dark Horse's collaboration is a relatively new partnership. It seems to have been an extremely successful one. Can you give us the insider story of how it all got started?

PT: A lot of it had to do with timing. I’ve been a huge Nintendo fan for my entire life and noticed that they were not doing much in the way of published materials. We had just recently had some success with video game related comics with Mass Effect, and, more importantly, art books. Samantha Robertson, a former Dark Horse editor who now works in Nintendo’s Treehouse division, had created an art book for the Art of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was this big, beautiful 9 x 12 coffee table book of really high quality that would become the template for our whole art book line.

We then did The Art of Alice: Madness Returns and had a book called The Art of the Mass Effect Universe book in the works. It was really obvious that we were on to something really fun and interesting. People really responded to these books. Calling them art books might be a bit of a misnomer because they all include behind the scenes information and development materials. They feature a lot of beautiful artwork, but they’re also 'making of' books.

So in 2011, I tracked down Nintendo’s booth at San Diego Comic Con and met Seth McMahill. We exchanged cards and he put me in contact with Cammy Budd who was Nintendo’s senior third-party marketing manager. She asked me what a partnership with Nintendo might look like. I knew that the 25th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda was coming up, so I pitched her on a book that would be a retrospective look at the whole series. Initially, she told me that she wasn’t sure that they’d have the resources available to support such an endeavor, which is totally reasonable, these are incredibly time intensive to make.

A month or so later, she contacted me again saying that she had talked to NCL and that they were in talks with another company, which I later learned was Shogakukan, who was developing a book very similar to that in Japan. They obviously weren’t going to do two books, but asked if we were interested in doing a localisation of that book. After bringing in Dark Horse's licensing guru Nick McWhorter, we worked out the details and were off and running. Hyrule Historia hit my desk shortly after that.

NL: How many copies of Hyrule Historia have been sold?

PT: I don’t know the exact number of how many copies Hyrule Historia has sold to date, but I believe it’s around 900,000 copies at this point.

NL: Finally, so far Dark Horse has published Zelda, Fire Emblem, Splatoon, and an upcoming Mario hardcover book. What can we expect in the future, and it's a special edition Metroid book, isn't it?

PT: Ha! I believe that I’m on the record somewhere stating that developing Metroid books would be the ultimate dream project for me, so I appreciate your enthusiasm on that front. As far as what is currently being developed? You can certainly expect more from the Dark Horse/Nintendo partnership. As for what? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Ubisoft CEO discusses Switch success, working with Nintendo, and figuring out what Ubisoft franchises are right for the system

Ubisoft has had quite the partnerships with Nintendo in recent years. We saw the release of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, the Donkey Kong Adventure DLC for that game is just around the corner, and now we know Team StarFox is going to appear in Starlink: Battle for Atlas. Just how did these collabs come to be? Geoff Keighley talked with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot to get the scoop.

...the fact that Nintendo came with mobility with the Switch...it’s giving all the publishers in our capital cities the abilities, finances actually, to create better games...it’s a booming industry today. Some of those games will use those roots, but the goal is to actually have a bit diversity in the portfolio, we can use the best approach for the experience.

Yes, we are big fans of Mr Miyamoto, in the last 30 years we’ve been looking at what he was doing and learned a lot from him. Being able to approach him and his team, is really something that is a wonderful experience for all the teams at Ubisoft, they love to collaborate and learn from him.

Guillemot was also asked about what other Ubisoft properties could make their way to Switch.

We need to make sure the brands are well adapted to the machine, and that they will fit with the public as well, when we decide to go on the machine we take into consideration those elements and also the capacity of the machine.

IGN: Multiplayer is a key part of the Switch's experience, but more single-player games are coming, says Nintendo

A lot of Switch games Nintendo showed off at E3 2018 focused on multiplayer content. Should fans of Nintendo's single player experiences worry that Nintendo is moving on? According to an IGN interview with Reggie Fils-Aime, that's not the case.

"A core proposition with Nintendo Switch is the ability to be playing a game and having an experience, seeing someone looking over at what you're doing, and the ability to just pop out a controller, hand it to someone, and to jump into a multiplayer experience really is a key part of the proposition. [Multiplayer experiences are] not exclusive, so we will still have these wonderful single-player experiences like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The ability to have a multiplayer experience was a key part of the thinking for the Nintendo Switch."

Pokemon Co. says "trust us" with Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee, explains why they picked Pokemon Yellow for inspiration

Pokemon Company CEO and President Tsunekazu Ishihara wants you to know that they're taking Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee seriously. They recognize that the games are slightly different from what the company has done in the past, but there are reasons for approaching things this way. In an interview with Famitsu, Ishihara explained why the game is in good hands, and also how they decided to use Pokemon Yellow as the base for creating this experience.

Among those who have tried the game, some may feel that it has changed. However, we have been continuously changing the formula of the games since our inception, and in the end the players have accepted those changes. In that sense, this time we are doing the same, but that is part of the long tradition of Game Freak and the Pokémon series. We will not go wrong with the basics, so please, trust us.

In Pokemon GO, you can take with you an associated Pokémon and walk with it, but if we return to its origin, we get to Yellow Pokémon. In Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! We wanted to expand this feature even more. Pikachu always follows Ash in the anime, while Eevee has become very popular because it can evolve in many different ways. And as I mentioned before, we want this to be the game that people go to play after Pokémon GO, since Pokémon Pokémon Red, Blue, Green and Yellow appear in Pokémon GO, so it seemed like a good decision. Based on these things, we decided that Yellow Pokémon would be the perfect choice.

Splatoon 2 producer talks about how the Switch Online paid service will impact the game, open to paid premium multiplayer content

When the Switch Online paid service goes live later this year, you'll have to pay to play Splatoon 2 online. Paying the $20 fee will grant you access to online play for Splatoon 2 for the entire year, but if you don't pay, you'll be left out in the cold. Does this mean we're about to see the player base for Splatoon 2 shrink in a major way? Producer Hisashi Nogami isn't too worried.

“We imagine it will have some sort of influence or effect by the addition of Nintendo Switch Online. [But] we want to use Nintendo Switch Online’s addition as a way to redouble our commitment to the community and reaffirm for them that we’re going to support this game more and more.”

Nogami's comments would seem to indicate that more content is going to hit Splatoon 2 to show fans that the game will continue to get support even after the paid online service launches. Could that mean there will be content made available that users will have to pony up some cash for?

“It’s not to say that there’s no possibility that we’ll ever consider releasing some paid premium multiplayer content. The main thing we want to maintain is this even playing field for players.”

Gal Metal - video interview with Producer Tak Fujii, plus more footage

We sat down with Tak Fujii to discuss Gal Metal's upcoming release in North America. We discuss how the gameplay works and get a live demo of how deep the gameplay is, the zany story mode, and more in this interview for Gal Metal on Nintendo Switch!

West of Loathing producer discusses the Switch port's sales, process of bringing it over

The producer on West of Loathing has shared some details on how the game has sold on Switch so far, as well as the porting process. Check out the comments from producer Kevin Simmons below.

"In the first three weeks we've sold about a third as many copies on Switch as we did in the first three weeks on Steam (our launch platform), which means we're thrilled! Those are great numbers for a goofy stick-figure cowboy comedy game.

Because we developed the game in Unity, we haven't really had any significant technical issues making builds for any specific platform. The easiest platform was Steam (Windows/Mac/Linux), but that's really only by virtue of it being the first one we did. If we'd built West of Loathing for Switch first, that would have been just as easy, and we'd have had to tweak the UI to better support mouse and keyboard instead of the other way around. Our greatest challenge so far has been trying to get a satisfying experience of the game on a phone-sized screen for our iOS port. Making the text pleasantly legible (there's so much text!) and tweaking the UI for a tiny screen are ongoing projects."

Dragon Quest executive producer discusses the future of the franchise

During Square Enix’s 38th annual meeting of stockholders, a question about the future of the Dragon Quest came out. Yu Miyake, Dragon Quest series executive producer, answered the question with the following.

“Both Horii-san and Sugiyama-sensei are doing great [laughs]. We recently hit the 30th anniversary, but they’re doing fine and working as usual. Sugiyama-sensei has been saying ‘So the next one will be the last one, huh,’ while at it. The most important thing for the Dragon Quest series is having Horii-san, Sugiyama-sensei, Akira Toriyama-san work together.

I have thought about what’s next, but I try not to think about it [laughs]. All the fans say they want to see Horii-san and Sugiyama-san continue making it, but I’ve been thinking about all kinds of things like what to do when they’re not longer able to do so, but I’ll just say that I haven’t given it some thought for now [laughs].”