Nintendo - Nostalgic games resonating with Switch fans, eShop approval process, Nintendo Labo third party opportunties

Nintendo's Damon Baker is the man to talk to if you want to get your game on the Switch eShop. He's helped facilitate hundreds of developers in getting their games to the platform, and many have been met with great success. In the interview snippets below, Baker talks to Kotaku about the eShop games resonating with fans, the process of getting your game on Switch, and even consideration for third parties and Nintendo Labo in the future.

Kotaku: Switch has been out for a year now. Has Nintendo’s thought process about what kinds of games it wants on the platform changed?

Damon Baker: Not exactly. It’s still about quality, first and foremost. But I think we have a better understanding of what is resonating on the system. I think we know that we can tap into—a Nintendo Switch fan is gravitating towards a sense of nostalgia. They’re really digging the types of games and experiences that are heavily inspired by the games that they grew up with. Or certain types of genres, like the platformers or Metroidvanias or any of those styles. Or it’s also, you know, kind of a nostalgic slant on the graphics—pixelated or retro-styled graphics.

Kotaku: When the Switch launched, I think that if you were an indie developer and Nintendo returned your emails and you got a dev kit and you got your game on Switch, you were really happy with the whole process. If you were on the other side of that and Nintendo was, like, well, this isn’t what we’re looking for right now or we can’t give you a dev kit right now, you were pretty bummed about the whole process. There still seem to be some developers who say ‘our game can’t get on Switch.’ What’s the situation with that now?

Baker: I think the best way to explain it is, over the last year we have been evolving past what was initially more of a curated content position to now a curated partnership position. So part of the pitch process for new developers or new publishers who come on board with Switch is to not just pitch us a brand new game or a brand new concept, but to use that opportunity to prove their background, their aptitude as a developer and whether they’re going to be able to navigate through what can be a complicated process of going through the development cycle, and certification, and all of that. So that’s part of our evaluation.

I can’t really disclose all of our guidelines, but I can tell you that those partners that are able to instill a level of trust and confidence in us that they’re going to be very capable of getting through the development process and are knowledgeable about bringing content out on consoles, those are the ones that are resonating in terms of bringing that content out and it doing well on the system. Some of those developers do have a negative reaction or are bummed because we haven’t opened up the door to hobbyists or students at this time. But one day, we may. We may be going towards that direction. But for now, we’re still staying the course in terms of a closed dev environment for Switch.

Kotaku: With Labo, Nintendo is about to redefine what the Switch is, and what you use it for. Right now, Labo is two first-party games. Is it a platform that other developers might be able to make stuff with at some point?

Baker: It could be. I mean, I think it’s similar to Amiibo. If it resonates with a bigger community, and there’s a bigger installed base, and it ends up working really really well, then we’ll definitely have those conversations from a third-party perspective of, what makes sense, and if there’s a way to tap into that excitement as well. So, anything’s possible.

This week's European downloads - March 22 (Detective Pikachu, A.O.T 2 and more)

Nintendo eShop (3DS)

Detective Pikachu (The Pokemon Company, available March 23) - €39.99/£34.99

Bonus until 22/04/2018, 22:59 UTC: Download code for the theme Pokémon: Detective Pikachu for Nintendo 3DS. The download code is valid until 31/05/2018.

Detective Pikachu is on the case! Put your detective hat on – it’s time to crack the case of a boy’s missing father in Detective Pikachu, a unique adventure game filled with beloved Pokémon.

Nintendo eShop (Switch)

A.O.T. 2 (KOEI TECMO EUROPE) - €69.99/£54.99

Bonus AOC until 17/04/2018, 00:59 CEST - A.O.T. 2: Eren & Levi "Plain clothes" Outfit Early Release + A.O.T. 2: Mikasa & Armin "Plain clothes" Outfit Early Release

Abandon all fear. A.O.T. 2 is the gripping sequel to the action game based on the worldwide hit anime series "Attack on Titan."

A.O.T. 2 Deluxe Edition (KOEI TECMO EUROPE) - €109.99/£89.99
Bonus AOC until 17/04/2018, 00:59 CEST - Season Pass (includes all upcoming AOCs) / A.O.T. 2: Eren & Levi "Plain clothes" Outfit Early Release + A.O.T. 2: Mikasa & Armin "Plain clothes" Outfit Early Release

"A.O.T. 2" Game ・20 piece additional outfit set

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (WayForward) - €16.22/£14.59
Embark on an adventure with Shantae, the hair-whipping belly dancing genie. When she loses her magic, Shantae must team up with her nemesis, the nefarious pirate Risky Boots in order to save Sequin Land from an evil curse. As a pirate, Shantae gains new weapons to advance her quest, slay monsters, battle epic bosses…and hopefully get her magic back in the bargain!  But can she really trust her deadliest enemy?

Swim Out (Lozange Lab) - €5.99/£5.39
Over 100 levels nestled in carefully crafted landscapes, soothed by the sound of seagulls, frogs or water splashes.

"EAT BEAT DEADSPIKE-san" is a rhythm action game spin-off of the 2D-fighting game series, "BLAZBLUE", that features Dead Spike-san in an eating frenzy.

Arcade Archives MOON PATROL (HAMSTER) - €6.99/£6.29
"MOON PATROL" is a side-scrolling action-shooting game released by IREM in 1982. Control a lunar rover as you jump to avoid obstacles, and move forward while defeating enemies that shoot missiles from above or rockets towards you. The goal is to make it through the Beginner Course and Champion Course.

"WORLD HEROES 2 JET" is a fighting game released by SNK in 1994. It is the third title in the WORLD HEROES series. Sixteen heroes, villains, and other fighters have gathered to determine who is the strongest in the world. With dashes, back steps, and the addition of a counter system, you can enjoy speedy battles.

Gate Of Doom (FTE Games) - €6.99/£6.99
Play with your friends and close the Gate Of Doom forever!

Gekido Kintaro's Revenge (NAPS Team) - €14.99/£13.49
A year has passed since the epic battle that decided the fate of mankind and claimed the life of the beloved Angela. Dark omens once again tell of the return of an evil presence. Ushi is the last remaining master of the ancient art of Shin-Ken, and he calls upon Tetsuo, his disciple and adopted son, to investigate some strange happenings in a faraway farming village outside the city.

NO THING (Forever Entertainment) - €1.99/£1.79 (€1.79/£1.61 until March 29)
The year is 1994 and it is the future.

NO THING is a minimalistic surreal action game set in a totalitarian regime of future.

Tells the story of an office clerk who is sent with an important message to the Queen of Ice.

OPUS: Rocket of Whispers (Flyhigh Works) - €8.99/£6.19
Throughout OPUS: Rocket of Whispers you will play as two survivors of an apocalyptic plague. Help them achieve the unimaginable goal of building a rocket, so they can return the deceased to their cosmic homeland through the ancient tradition of space burials.

Slayaway Camp: Butcher's Cut (Digerati) - €14.99/£13.49 (€13.49/£12.14 until March 29)
A killer puzzle game where you control Skullface, hell-bent on revenge. Slide around hundreds of isometric puzzle levels to squash, flay, and take out hapless victims in this darkly comic homage to 80s horror movies.

SOL DIVIDE for Nintendo Switch (Zerodiv) - €6.99/£6.99
org heard a rumour that the army of Satan was searching for treasures called Seirei stones, which led him to think that the time for revenge has come.

Vorg, who was a holy knight in Western Kingdom, Miltia, was in the forest town of Neraphai working for a mission when the king of Satan, Ifter, invaded the Kingdom of Miltia with Dhatilos armies.

Castle of Heart (7Levels, available March 23) - €14.99/£13.49
CASTLE OF HEART, available exclusively for Nintendo Switch, is a classic action platformer at the genre’s best... and most challenging, with plentiful new twists on the formula to experience. Players take control over a cursed knight, turned to stone by the evil sorcerer’s spell, but ready to prove that love and courage can conquer even the darkest magic.

ARMS Global Testpunch (Nintendo, available March 23) - Free
A new global Testpunch for ARMS, which lets Nintendo Switch owners try out select modes for free, will be running for three days starting on 31st March. To participate, players just have to download the Testpunch in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch.

Deep Ones Demo (Sometimes You) - Free
The main protagonist of this story suffers a crash on his submarine. The great red octopus is the reason of this, his will of destroying every traveller that he encounters may seem unbeatable, but Diver isn't exactly as simple as he looks.

Metropolis: Lux Obscura Demo (Sometimes You) - Free
Jon Lockhart walked through the prison gates a free man, after spending years imprisoned as the supposed murderer of an old friend. He returned once more to the city where it all started intent on figuring out who it was that framed him for the murder and make them pay in blood for the crime. It'd take some work with the key witness dead, but that just meant he'd have to flush out every rat from hiding.

"EAT BEAT DEADSPIKE-san" is a rhythm action game spin-off of the 2D-fighting game series, "BLAZBLUE", that features Dead Spike-san in an eating frenzy.

Downloadable Content

Rocket League - Unlocked Event Crates x1 (Psyonix) - €2.11/£1.87
Rocket League - Unlocked Event Crates x5 (Psyonix) - €8.45/£7.52
Rocket League - Unlocked Event Crates x10 (Psyonix) - €16.91/£15.04
Rocket League - Unlocked Event Crates x20 (Psyonix) - €33.83/£30.09

Release until 10/04/2018, 00:59 CEST

Purchase Unlocked Event Crates to get random customization items during a limited-time event! Duplicates can be kept or traded.

A.O.T. 2: Additional Costumes 16 Piece Set (KOEI TECMO EUROPE) - €37.99/£34.19
A.O.T. 2: Additional Eren Costume: "Bad Boy Outfit" (KOEI TECMO EUROPE) - €3.49/£3.19
A.O.T. 2: Additional Mikasa Costume: "Bad Boy Outfit" (KOEI TECMO EUROPE) - €3.49/£3.19
A.O.T. 2: Additional Levi Costume: "Bad Boy Outfit" (KOEI TECMO EUROPE) - €3.49/£3.19
A.O.T. 2: Costume Set "Halloween" (KOEI TECMO EUROPE) - €11.99/£10.79
A.O.T. 2: Costume Set "Christmas" (KOEI TECMO EUROPE) - €11.99/£10.79
A.O.T. 2: Costume Set "Summer Festival " (KOEI TECMO EUROPE) - Free
A.O.T. 2: Costume Set "Japanese New Year" (KOEI TECMO EUROPE) - €11.99/£10.79
A.O.T. 2: Mikasa Costume "Summer Festival" (KOEI TECMO EUROPE) - Free

LEGO MARVEL Super Heroes 2 - Cloak And Dagger Character and Level Pack (WB Games) - €2.99/£2.50
Download this level and character pack to play as Cloak and Dagger! Set immediately after Cloak and Dagger gain their incredible powers, players must help the two escape their evil captor, his super powered henchman, and work together through a series of puzzles using their unique new abilities.

WWE 2K18 Enduring Icons Pack (2K) - €9.99/£7.99
Celebrate the illustrious careers of 5 of Sports Entertainment’s most incredible Superstars with the WWE 2K18 Enduring Icons Pack. Download and play as The Hardy Boyz as well as WWE 2017 Hall of Fame Inductees the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix.

Note: This item is included in the Season Pass premium content purchase.

WWE 2K18 Generation Pack (2K) - €9.99/£7.99
Download the WWE 2K18 NXT Generation Pack today and play as 5 of the most dynamic Superstars from NXT’s past and present! Playable characters include Drew McIntyre, Ruby Riot, Elias, Aleister Black and Lars Sullivan.

Note: This item is included in the Season Pass premium content purchase.

WWE 2K18 New Moves Pack (2K) - €3.99/£3.59
Add an assortment of brand-new moves to your arsenal with the WWE 2K18 New Moves Pack!  Dominate your opponents with moves like the Tye-Breaker, Crash Landing, Pumphandle Death Valley Driver, and the Swinging Sleeper Slam! Available now!

Note: If you own the WWE 2K18 Season Pass, do not purchase this product as you will be charged again. Please download the correct version listed as free.

Pokkén Tournament DX Battle Pack Wave 2 (Nintendo)
Wave 2 - Released 23 March

・Blastoise as a Battle Pokémon
・Mew & Celebi as a new Support Set
・New Avatar Items
・New Outfits for Nia
・New Titles


Alteric (Sometimes You) - €4.99/£4.49 (€4.49/£4.04 until March 30)

A single player 2D-platformer

Bright minimalistic graphics

Hardcore gameplay with physics, gravity and logic

2 interconnected parallel worlds

A variety of obstacles and dangerous bosses

Atmospheric soundtrack

Super Rocket Shootout (Plug In Digital) - €9.99/£8.99
Super Rocket Shootout is a frantic 2D pixel art brawler game, mixing platformer and fighting mechanics. Charming characters, destructible environments, cool weapons and awesome jetpack make this a blast to play alone or with up to 4 friends.

Super Chariot (Microids) - €19.99/£17.99
Designed for Nintendo Switch, Super Chariot is a 2D platform game that can be played through to the end in either solo or co-op mode. You play as either the brave Princess or her faithful fiancé in a subterranean fantasy adventure...

Nintendo 3DS Theme Shop
The following themes will be available on March 23.

ARCADE (Umusic online France) - €1.99/£1.79
"Discover the sphere of arcade games again!"

HELLO SPRING (Umusic online France) - €1.99/£1.79
"Flowers and animals are here again: Hello Spring!"

UNICORN (Umusic online France) - €1.99/£1.79
"Unicorns love music too!"

WILD MUSIC (Umusic online France) - €1.99/£1.79
"The wild side of music in origami style!"

PACK #5 (Umusic online France) - €3.99/£3.59
"3 themes pack: Teddy Bear, Smile and Kitten"

Note: this doesn't include the list of discounts yet as it is quite long.

This week's North American downloads - March 22 (Detective Pikachu, Outlast 2 and more)

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:

Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS
Detective Pikachu – Crack the case in this new detective adventure game by interacting with a unique, fully voiced Pikachu. As Tim Goodman, you’ll partner with self-proclaimed “great detective” Pikachu to solve strange occurrences all over Ryme City. Together you must investigate, take notes and meet up with other Pokémon to unravel the city’s greatest mysteries! The Detective Pikachu game will be available on March 23. Game in 2D.

The Alliance Alive – One thousand years ago, Daemons invaded the world of Humans. They subjugated Humanity and created the Great Barrier to separate the realms. Now the time for resistance has come. The Alliance Alive game evokes the nostalgia of JRPG greats with huge world exploration and intertwining stories of nine protagonists. The Alliance Alive launches on March 27.

Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
Outlast 2 – The Outlast 2 game introduces you to Sullivan Knoth and his followers, who left our wicked world behind to give birth to the Temple Gate town deep in the wilderness and hidden from civilization. Knoth and his flock are preparing for the tribulations of the end of times and you’re right in the thick of it. Outlast 2 launches on March 27.

OPUS: Rocket of Whispers – Throughout the OPUS: Rocket of Whispers game, you will play as two survivors of an apocalyptic plague. Help them achieve the unimaginable goal of building a rocket, so they can return the deceased to their cosmic homeland through the ancient tradition of space burials.

New DLC:

Pokkén Tournament DX Battle Pack Wave 2 – The Pokkén Tournament DX Battle Pack grants immediate access to Avatar items upon purchase and two waves of DLC as they are released. The Battle Pack contains two new Battle Pokémon and two new Support Pokémon Sets. With these Pokémon joining the fray, the battle is just getting started! Wave 1 released on Jan. 31, 2018, and contains Battle Pokémon Aegislash, a new Support Pokémon set featuring Mega Rayquaza and Mimikyu, and additional Avatar items. Wave 2 releases on March 23, 2018, and contains Battle Pokémon Blastoise, a new Support Pokémon set featuring Mew and Celebi, and additional Avatar items. Full version of game required to use DLC.
Nintendo eShop sales:

Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
Great deals this week! Check out the full list of deals available this week at http://www.nintendo.com/games/sales-and-deals.


My Nintendo Presents Nindie Game Gold Point Rewards Vol. 4 – Got Gold Points? Get select games! My Nintendo users can now redeem Gold Points for some fun indie games on Nintendo platforms. For a limited time, you can redeem points to download select Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games from our talented independent developers. Users will receive a download code that is redeemable in Nintendo eShop. Please visit https://my.nintendo.com/news for more details.

Super Mario Run – Time is running out! The Super Mario Run game is 50 percent off until 11:59 p.m. PT on March 25. Pay once to play all of the courses as much as you want. If you haven’t bought it yet, now is your chance! You can download and enjoy a portion of Super Mario Run for free in the App Store or on Google Play.

Also new this week:
ACA NEOGEO WORLD HEROES 2 JET (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch)
Arcade Archives MOON PATROL (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch)
Castle of Heart (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available March 23
EAT BEAT DEADSPIKE-san (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch)
Gekido Kintaro’s Revenge (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch)
Metropolis: Lux Obscura – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available March 27
NO THING (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch)
Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch)
SOL DIVIDE -SWORD OF DARKNESS- (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch)
Warp Shift (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch) – Available March 27

NoA PR - Nintendo Hosts Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2018, Splatoon 2 World Championship Tournaments

World-Class Players Will Compete in E3-Related Event June 11-12 in Los Angeles

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- On June 11-12 in Los Angeles, an invited group of players will gather to play Super Smash Bros., and qualified teams will compete in Splatoon 2, as Nintendo hosts an event featuring high-level gameplay on these two games for Nintendo Switch. This will be the first-ever exhibition tournament featuring the recently announced Super Smash Bros. game coming to Nintendo Switch in 2018. Additionally, this will be the first world championship for Splatoon 2 after the game’s launch. The gathering will be a celebration of fun for all ages, and will highlight Nintendo’s unique approach to competitive play. The event will be just one of Nintendo’s activities at the E3 video game trade show, which runs June 12-14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Additional details about Nintendo’s E3 plans will be announced at a later time.

The event will showcase players from around the globe in the Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2018 tournament for the newly announced Super Smash Bros. game coming to Nintendo Switch this year and the Splatoon 2 World Championship. The competitions will be livestreamed.

Prior to the Splatoon 2 World Championship, Nintendo will host U.S./Canada online qualifiers. The U.S./Canada qualifier will be the Splatoon 2 U.S./Canada Inkling Open 2018 hosted by Battlefy. Open qualifiers for teams of four ages 13 and up will take place on April 21 starting at 11 a.m. PT, and finals will take place on April 28 at 8 a.m. PT. Teams will compete in Turf War during the open qualifiers and in Ranked Battle modes during the finals. Players can learn more about the qualifiers at https://e3.nintendo.com/splatoon-2-inkling-open/. Players from around the world competed in their region’s qualifying events for a spot at the Splatoon 2 World Championship, and those in Japan (Splatoon Koshien 2018), Europe (Splatoon European Championship) and Australia (AUNZ Splatoon Cup) should check information from their local regions regarding these qualifiers.

“Nintendo always takes an original approach to video game competitions, and the portability of Nintendo Switch enables unique gameplay possibilities,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We’re looking forward to watching some of the best players in the world test their skills against each other in these two uniquely competitive games.”

For additional details about the Nintendo Switch event, visit https://e3.nintendo.com. Visit https://battlefy.com/splatoon2 to register for the Splatoon 2 U.S./Canada qualifiers. More details about the Los Angeles event will be announced in the future.

The 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie's first screenplay was written by the same man who handled Rain Man

Barry Morrow is the man behind the original story and screenplay for the 1988 Best Picture, Rain Man. At poine point in time, he was also a writer tied to the Super Mario Bros. movie.

Yes, believe it or not, the main force behind Rain Man was almost the man to bring Mario and Luigi to the silver screen. Morrow penned a version of the script that is described quite similar to Rain Man. So much so, that the production staff actually nicknamed the draft Drain Man. Morrow's treatment saw Mario and Luigi head out on an existential road trip, where Mario was the brains and Luigi was a savant.

When that script was shelved, the team of Jim Jennewein and Tom S Parker tried their luck. The two had previously worked together on The Flintstones and Ri¢hie Ri¢h. Jennewein and Parker wanted to create a fantasy movie that took place completely in the Mushroom Kingdom. Unfortunately that draft was ditched as well.

This takes us up to the adaptation that actually made it to theaters. Makes you wonder why the other two versions were shelved in favor of what we got!

Thanks to HourlyTerrier for the heads up!

Hori releasing Switch Joy-Con with a proper d-pad

HORI is about to fulfill a long-standing request from a lot of Switch owners. They'll be releasing a left-handed Switch Joy-Con with a traditional d-pad. The Joy-Con is due out this July in Japan, and will cost roughly $25. It seems the Joy-Con includes everything a regular left Joy-Con from Nintendo includes, minus the gyro and motion-sensing attributes. That's a bit of a downer, but hopefully it won't be a factor with too many games.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Wins Game of the Year at the 18th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards (full list of winners)

Nintendo’s groundbreaking open-world role-playing game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, was honored with the prize for Game of the Year at tonight’s 18th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) ceremony during the 2018 Game Developers Conference (GDC) at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The game’s expansive sound and deep, open-ended gameplay also earned The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild the awards for Best Audio and Best Design. An archive of the award ceremony, as well as the full presentation of the Independent Games Festival Awards (IGF Awards), can be viewed at http://twitch.tv/gdc

Developer Jason Roberts’ visually inventive and contemplative puzzle game, Gorogoa, earned two awards tonight, for Best Mobile Game and the Innovation Award. The game seamlessly blends a unique visual design with engrossing storytelling elements, bending space and reality in the process. Developer Studio MDHR also earned two awards, Best Debut and Best Visual Art, for its work on the retro shooter Cuphead. The game faithfully reproduces the charming cartoon aesthetics and toe-tapping jazz of the 1930s, and adds the tight gameplay mechanics of a sidescrolling shooter to create an experience that is at once playful and familiar, yet fiendishly challenging and novel.

The full slate of winners at the 2018 GDCAs also includes Best Narrative award winner, What Remains of Edith Finch by Giant Sparrow, a title that artfully portrays the sad and joyful stories of multiple generations of the Finch family; Horizon Zero Dawn by Guerilla Games, which earned the award for Best Technology for its visually stunning portrayal of a far-flung sci-fi world filled with lush environments and deadly robotic monsters; and the sharply stylistic VR shooter, SUPERHOT VR by the SUPERHOT Team, which won the award for Best VR/AR Game. In addition, the Audience Award, chosen among the entire selection of GDCA finalists via a public online voting process, was presented to developer PlatinumGames for NieR:Automata, the charmingly offbeat open-world RPG.

The Game Developers Choice Awards honor the very best games of the year, and was created for and voted on by developers. Winners are selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group comprised of leading game creators from all parts of the industry.

In addition to the best games of the last year, the GDCAs also honor the dedicated individuals who have helped further the art, science and craft of video games with special awards. This year’s Ambassador Award, which recognizes those whose actions have helped video games to “advance to a better place,” went to independent developer and Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail. The award recognizes Ismail’s work helping incubators, local events, universities, community efforts, and games industry policy around the world.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was Double Fine and LucasArts developer Tim Schafer, whose career spans almost three decades of creating iconic adventure games across platforms and generations. Schafer has inspired countless developers around the world with his work on standout titles like Day Of The Tentacle, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango & Brutal Legend, helped advocate for independent game development, and pioneered independent crowdfunding for games like Double Fine’s Psychonauts 2 and Broken Age.

“Every year sees countless amazing games worthy of recognition, but this year in particular has seen some of the strongest titles to arrive this generation. The GDCAs give us an opportunity to reflect on and honor the games that provided us with endless joy,” said Katie Stern, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference. “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild helped us rediscover a childlike sense of adventure and discovery. Titles like Gorogoa and What Remains of Edith Finch offered us distinct creative visions that can only be experienced in games, and games like Cuphead and Horizon Zero Dawn crafted worlds we could lose ourselves in. Congratulations to all of tonight’s nominees and winners and thank you for your creativity and dedication.”

The Game Developers Choice Awards winners are:

Best Audio
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)

Best Debut
Studio MDHR (Cuphead)

Best Design
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)

Best Mobile Game
Gorogoa (Jason Roberts/Buried Signal)

Innovation Award
Gorogoa (Jason Roberts/Buried Signal)

Best Narrative
What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow)

Best Technology
Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games)

Best Visual Art
Cuphead (Studio MDHR)

Best VR/AR Game

Audience Award
NieR:Automata (PlatinumGames)

Game of the Year
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)

Ambassador Award
Rami Ismail

Lifetime Achievement Award
Tim Schafer

Nintendo dev says very few of the company's prototypes become commercial games

Kosuke Yabuki has worked on a number of high-profile titles at Nintendo, including games like ARMS and Mario Kart. In a panel at GDC, Yabuki touched on a number of details concerning Nintendo's approach to game design. One of the most interesting tidbits came from a matter-of-fact statement about Nintendo's releases.

“Very few of the prototypes that the R&D teams design at Nintendo blossom into commercial games.”

Yabuki says this happens because Nintendo focuses on releasing games that don't fit into existing game genres, as well as games that don't follow trends.

SEGA says Sonic's original story involved a human fighter pilot, Sonic loved to dance, and more

Game designer Hirokazu Yasuhara and character designer Naoto Oshima shared a bunch of interesting Sonic details during their GDC panel. You can get a rundown of their discussion via the bulletpoints below.

- Sonic's original backstory involved a fighter pilot with Sonic painted on the nose of his plane
- the pilot tirelessly sought to fly his plane at yet-unknown speeds
- his hair, always standing up, led to him being called the “Hedgehog”
- the nose art on the plane he flew depicted Sonic
- he got married to an author of children’s literature, and she wrote a children’s story about a hedgehog that was based on him
- his flight jacket still exists today
- the classic Sonic emblem, as seen on the game’s title screen, was originally the “nose art” on the plane in this story
- the story of Sonic and Eggman that took place in the game was a story told by the wife of the pilot
- Oshima originally wanted Sonic to be a hedgehog who knew how dance
- there wasn't enough room on the cartridge to include all of Sonic's dance moves, so they idea was cut
- Sonic is blue to match SEGA's logo
- Sonic is an animal because it’s easier to be politically correct if your mascot is a colorful animal
- a cute, “cool” hedgehog is a good ambassador for Sega’s youth-oriented brand
- loops and tunnels, multi-scrolling, and lots of objects were used to showcase what the Genesis could do
- a good portion of the game's design was done by hand, with pen and paper
- Yasuhara would sketch out a design on paper, then show it to an artist and discuss how they could make it work
- levels would be drawn by hand, assembled from the limit of 64 “parts” or panels in each zone
- enemies would be sketched out on paper, then shown to the team, and animations were also roughly sketched out on paper

NPD - Switch remains on a record-setting pace, now the highest install base for a console in platform history

The PS4 might have been the best-selling console in the US for February 2018, but that doesn't mean the Switch is doing poorly. That's far from the case actually, as all platforms are doing well. NPD analyst Mat Piscatella shared comment on just how well the Switch is doing.

“Nintendo Switch remains on a record-setting sales pace. Over the first twelve months in market, Nintendo Switch has achieved the highest installed base for a console platform in history.”