Nintendo eShop needs a major overhaul to get rid of misleading advertising and glitchy Switch games
Over the past few weeks, I have purchased several digital games from the Nintendo eShop. Unfortunately, about half of them were incredibly glitched, like Baldo The Guardian Owls and Sonic Colors Ultimate. Both games have since received post-launch updates. However, this did not fix all of the issues players were having, and in Baldo’s case, the patch still did not make the game fully playable. For someone who bought either game in opening week, I feel like I was ripped off. I’m not one to spend a lot of time on the eShop usually, but this repeated disappointment made me take a long look at it and realize that it’s not only dated but that it’s filled with so many false advertisements that it makes me doubt Nintendo’s credibility.
So what exactly would save the eShop? There are a few important changes that need to happen. First, Nintendo needs to allow us to manage our eShop feeds and improve search capabilities. Curiously, that brings us to the second thing: regulating listings, starting with banning shovelware. Admittedly, this will take a lot of work on Nintendo’s part, but it will provide a much better experience for developers and players.
Organize feeds and improve searches
Although it’s home to some of the best Nintendo Switch games, the Nintendo eShop isn’t easy to find anything other than the latest releases, best-selling titles, and some deals. Think about how many great indie titles you might be missing out on because you can’t curate your eShop feed to your specific preferences. Improved search tools will help us find more games to buy and support developers. As things stand, developers have to manipulate the system to get their games noticed.
As reported by Kotaku, several smaller developers routinely sell their content for less than a dollar on the eShop, just so their work has a slim chance of appearing on those main eShop menus. In some cases, this helps the game sell much better than it did at launch, as explained via a Twitter post from Mike Rose, director of video game publisher No More Robots. It’s a long thread, but I recommend reading the whole thing because it explains very clearly what indie developers have to go through to get their games sold on the eShop or, heck, even get a lot of attention to begin with. But here’s the part I’m going to focus on:
At one point, he states that the developers are making “crazy money manipulating the system. And it’s only going to get worse, and more and more people are realizing it.” For example, he shares how he experimented with his company’s video game sales on the eShop by listing Not Tonight at 90% off and Yes, Your Grace at 40% off. Not Tonight sold significantly more units and got more eyeballs, while Yes, Your Grace only sold about 13% more than the other game while earning about 60% of Not’s revenue. Tonight. What’s exciting is that since the cheaper sale got a lot more attention, Not Tonight continued to outperform Yes, Your Grace once both games returned to full price. You can easily see why developers repeatedly spam the sales page when it pays so well.
With how profitable it is to drop the price by 90%, developers can scrape together a pretty penny and drop the price steadily throughout the year. Unfortunately, seeing this quick and easy turnaround encourages some of the more sleazy developers to download past projects that haven’t been fully updated for Switch controls and sell them for pennies as well, which brings us to our problem. next.
Ban shovels and regulate registrations
Without a doubt, the worst thing about the Nintendo eShop is the amount of junk and shovelware on the platform. I’m not talking about Shovel Knight – it’s a good boi that never gets it wrong – I’m talking about when a company releases a work already published elsewhere on the eShop without making the necessary changes that would make the game run more efficiently on the switch. This leads to a lot of fake ads as some developers upload videos and images of their games running on a different system rather than showing how slow or visually distinct it is on Switch.
There are a lot of fake advertisements on the Nintendo eShop. Better regulation could solve this problem.
An insightful discussion on Reddit has allowed gamers to list the worst offenders of the Switch port. For example, Tequila Works, the developers who brought us The Sexy Brutale and Rime, made terrible Switch ports for both of those games. When launched, they both had significant lag and glitched as all came out. Not to mention that the visuals didn’t look as good in the Switch version as they do elsewhere. However, Rime’s images and music video on the eShop do not show the visual gap or delay. It’s worth noting that patches and updates have been released for either game, but many gamers still don’t feel like that was enough to fix some of the bigger issues.
Nintendo should address this false advertising issue by either forcing developers to upload images and videos captured on Switch to eShop listings, or at least leaving a note in the listing that visuals may look different in-game. standards should apply to all games currently listed on the store, as well as all future games. Headings that do not make the necessary changes should be removed.
In a fantasy world, the Japanese game company would have a dedicated team checking every game and only allowing non-glitch games, but Nintendo doesn’t have time for that when hundreds of games come out on Switch every month. However, they might implement a reporting feature for games with fake ads or not performing well. Hell, even a user rating system would help with that, but Nintendo probably won’t implement one because low ratings would prevent consumers from buying as many games.
On another regulatory note, it’s become too common for developers to release their flawed games before they’re ready to go, then fix them later with a day one, day two, or day 30 patch. As I said before, we saw it recently with Baldo The Guardian Owls and Sonic Colors Ultimate. There is a lot of bureaucracy in these decisions; developers aren’t always able to meet their launch deadlines, and unexpected issues often occur after a game launches. But it’s a horrible consumer experience when a developer releases games that have experienced glitch issues and expects us to run through Cyberpunk 2077 levels of updates needed to play a game that caught our eye. It gives the developer a bad image and gives Nintendo a bad image for hosting the game.
Not to mention that being repeatedly burned by eShop purchases creates a horrible experience for gamers and may prevent us from buying games from that specific developer or even from the eShop in the future. . The worst part is that it often happens with indie games. I’m always keen to support a small studio when I can. But if I constantly have to wonder whether or not I will be able to play the game, I think of the purchase which is ridiculous and hurts the industry in general.
Nintendo’s new Switch OLED model will be released on October 8. It features several upgrades including a better screen, better kickstand, better internal storage and even more LAN port in the dock. However, suppose Nintendo wants to make the upgraded experience complete. In this case, they will update the eShop visually and with improved search capabilities and regulations in place that help protect potential buyers from false advertising. It’s the only way to give Nintendo back the credibility that the eShop is losing.
Buying games on the eShop is a gamble. You might get a fully functional title that meets your expectations, or you might get shovelware that gets glitched as it all comes out. Unless significant changes are implemented very soon, the damage will only continue to affect more players.