One of the best port specialists in the video game industry right now is Virtuos. On the Switch front, it has helped bring games like Starlink: Battle for Atlas and Dark Souls: Remastered to the hybrid platform, and most recently assisted with The Outer Worlds.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz earlier this week, Virtuos' vice president of games Elijah Freeman was asked to clarify what he meant, when he said the company had been contracted to "create bespoke Switch titles for some of the most beloved IPs in [the] industry" in our Nintendo Life feature we ran in September – and whether or not this meant the return of undesirable spin-offs that reinforced the belief third-party games don't sell well on Nintendo platforms.
From a Virtuos perspective, we view 'bespoke' versions as tailored versions of the client's IP to the Switch platform. Generally, this consists of adapting a control scheme or implementing new playability by adding some of the unique features, such as touchscreen [controls]. These features can provide a new layer of engagement, and capitalizing on these gameplay additions can make the difference between a good game and a great game.
Freeman further stated how both "players and developers" expected "full, high-quality versions" of their games on the Switch.
We often have this conversation with partners who developed their original game for PC or HD consoles and think that it won't run on the Switch. Give enough time to a specialized team, and they will find enough technical and content optimizations to make it play seamlessly. It's simply a matter of priority: How do you balance the distribution of tasks for the GPU and CPU to achieve the expected results? This can be especially challenging if it were a classic game with an antiquated code base, but it's totally feasible.
It sounds like Virtuos really does respect the Switch, its audience and the source material it's working with. It's refreshing to hear given the stance some companies have taken towards Nintendo's latest hardware this generation.
Are you relieved to hear Virtuos won't be simply cashing in on the success of the Switch with low-quality creations or spin-offs that carry no resemblance to original offerings on other platforms? Are you looking forward to The Outer Worlds arriving on Switch? Tell us down below.