Every year nintendo releases a big new game around the holiday season. It’s practically tradition at this point, with massive titles like mario odyssey launching just in time for people looking for christmas presents to buy for family and friends. So how come there isnt one this year?
before we start, I gotta set one thing straight. Yes, im aware that pokemon Scarlet and violet have just released, and that they could be considered the holiday game for this year, but im not counting them personally. Heres why: These pokemon games always release around this time, for example Lets go pikachu and Eevee, and sword and shield. Yes they are holiday games, but not the ones im going to be talking about. Alongside these games that the pokemon company usually makes, nintendo also has something to offer each year. Last year, this was metroid dread, releasing in october. The year before that, it was Hyrule warriors: Age of calamity, and the year before that it was Luigis mansion 3. However this year, theres nothing from nintendo. Why?
One reason may be that they just dont need to release something new. Considering the switch is now well over five years old and its systems and units are still selling incredibly well, the company may believe that its not worth the cost of all the marketing to boost some sales this year. After all, they have such a vast catalog of games now that people will just be buying these for christmas most likely. It doesnt have to be a new game. In fact, considering they are doing so well at the moment, releasing a new game may been seen as risky as it can eat into their current sales of other titles, and nintendo wants to sell the older games, as theyre usually cheaper for them. This is because with the less new games like breath of the wild and mario odyssey, they are no longer updating them and actively spending money on the titles other than the cost of manufaturing etc. Doing this also saves money on marketing the new game, which is good for nintendo, as it means less money is tied up in advertising campaigns and can be used elsewhere, like further investments and development.
Another reason there isnt a holday game this year may be becuase they’re saving the next major title for a new console. The switch has been out for over 5 years now, with only small refreshes along the way. We’re definitely due a new console at some point. Releasing the new game alongside the new console would be smart as it would boost sales for both products. It’s important for them to have a game to go alongside the console, they even did it with metroid dread and the switch oled. Having some games launch alongide a new console is essential as they can be used to showcase the new power and features of the system. They can provide benefits that you cant get on the previous system, like how playing breath of the wild on the switch allows youto play it on the go compared to having the game on the wii u. However, i’d take this theory with a grain of salt as i feel like there wont be a new switch for a while. It will probably be at least a year until a new one is released. They wouldnt save a large game for that long because they would be missing out on potential sales while they hold on to it.
An interesting theory explaining the lack of nintendo game this holiday is the impacts of covid. Think about it! the pandemeic started a couple of years ago, halting many operations for most companies, and nintendo was hit hard when it came to game development. Hence, 2020 was a fairly dry year for games. While we’ve seen many games release that were probably delayed during the pandemic, there were probably also plans during 2020 to start work on other games that would come out around this time, however due to the development issues, they are still in the works. This means that there may have been a game planned for this holiday, however its just not ready yet. It could have actually been tears of the kingdom, however it was announced for 2022 after the largest effects of the pandemic, so i reckon its just been delayed so they have more time to perfect it.
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