There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the Nintendo Switch, from the innovative way it blends the convenience of a portable system with the benefits of gaming on a big screen, to compelling software like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. However, as with any Nintendo console released in the last 20 years, third-party support is a concern.
Yesterday, we learned that a major third-party title expected to release in the next couple of years is not expected to hit the Switch. Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford delivered the news to a fan in response to a question about whether the long-awaited Borderlands 3 would be released for Nintendo’s upcoming piece of hardware.
“I do not see that as happening,” wrote Pitchford, according to a report from IGN. “We were talking to Nintendo, but that stopped for some reason. They have other priorities.”
Borderlands 3 is expected to be Gearbox Software’s next project, as Pitchford has previously stated that production would begin in earnest after the release of Battleborn, which launched last year. It’s reasonable to assume that it would be ready at some point in the next two or three years, at which point it’s likely to be available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well as the PC.
If the Switch can’t offer major third-party releases like Borderlands 3 alongside its direct console competition, it will be difficult for the system to cast off the dark shadow of the Wii U. That piece of hardware couldn’t muster up enough third-party support to flesh out its library, despite plenty of great games being released for the platform.
We’ve already been told that the Switch will be easy to develop games for. However, if third-party studios don’t see a reason to release their games for the system along with releases for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, Nintendo will face an uphill struggle as it attempts to appeal to mainstream audiences.