Hardware and software limitations could deter developers from porting popular multi-platform games like Overwatch to Switch
“I’m loving the Switch! My second favorite gaming platform of all time is the 3DS. Getting OW on the Switch is very challenging for us,” Kaplan wrote.
Kaplan didn’t elaborate on those challenges, but it’s safe to say that there are two big obstacles standing in Blizzard’s way. First, Overwatch currently runs on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, three machines that surpass the Switch on a technical level. The game would likely have to be scaled back on Switch, making it a time-consuming port. Beyond sheer power, online services may be an even larger issue. Although Nintendo plans to expand the Switch’s currently barebones online features later this year, the publisher has never placed much emphasis on online multiplayer. The logistics of building a player community on Switch may prove too daunting and the Switch might never meet Blizzard’s standards in terms of online features.
Kaplan, however, left the door open by concluding, “But we’re always open minded about exploring possible platforms.” Kaplan is obviously very fond of Nintendo. In addition to his 3DS adoration, he referred to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as a “masterpiece” in response to a question about his current favorite game.
Blizzard is still regarded as a PC-centric developer, but with titles like Overwatch and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on Xbox One and PS4, and Hearthstone on mobile devices, Blizzard’s identity is beginning to shift. But the last game Blizzard released on a Nintendo platform? It ported its real-time strategy classic StarCraft on Nintendo 64 in 2000.
If Blizzard somehow finds a way to break its Nintendo console drought then we would be able to play Overwatch on the go. Fingers crossed.