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The Writer Within VII

LEVEL SEVEN: DEER DANCE


Lately I’ve been thinking about ports, the ones I actually want to see, and have seen a lot of negativity in association with discussions of ports. So, let’s dive in.

A common phrase I’ve seen is ‘Port Begging’. It’s almost as if requesting or hoping for a port is a dirty thing. It’s mostly aimed at Nintendo users. I can understand why they want ports, a lot of them feel robbed at the unexpected failure of the Wii U. With how dominate the Wii sold, no one could have predicted what was to come, even if it seems obvious now.

Now, I’ve got no issue with anyone wanting any game on any platform. Some make sense and some are because of the failures of publishers and developers. Wanting high profile games on Switch like Dragon Ball Fighter Z and Persona 5 make sense. Also those games released on Wii U that didn’t have an audience get a second chance at success, like the nearly perfect but criminally undersold Bayonetta 2 and the spectacular Wonderful 101. Let us not forget the great RPG Xenoblade Chronicles X and arguably the best version of Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros. For Wii U.

I would double dip for these games but these ports are more for non Wii U owners (still have mine). The games released on PS3 and Xbox 360 but didn’t come to Wii U have an argument as well. It may seem comical but some gamers only adhere to one platform and if it was Nintendo, well, they’ve missed out.

Two ports come to mind when thinking back on the Wii U. The two Batman ports, phenomenal ports and in my opinion the best versions of those games, and Mass Effect 3. The Batman games are examples of ports done right and I think bringing them over with the added functions, the ones that can be added to Switch, brought over with the remaining Batman games (Asylum and Knight) would sell well. Then there was Mass Effect 3. That game was dead on arrival. It didn’t have all the DLC, the other versions were cheaper at that point, and for the same price the entire trilogy was available in one pack. Repacking the entire trilogy of Switch, I think it would sell tremendously.

Ports that make little sense to me, I am happy for those who are excited to about them, are ports of ports. The first three Devil May Cry games released on PlayStation 2 and were remastered and ported to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and are once again being ported only this time to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The only version that makes sense is the PC version as it’s the first time it’ll be available on that platform. A lack of a Nintendo version, especially how tremendous the console is selling, makes no sense. There is also no need to buy the PlayStation 4 or Xbox one versions because they could make them backwards compatible on Xbox One and the PS3 versions are available in Sony’s PS Now subscription service.

Now I’ve read also the whole “Don’t ask for ports, ask for original IPs” argument and it’s a sound one but why can’t we live in a world where both exist? Why can’t Nintendo owners ask for Nier Automata for Switch and still receive an original IP from Platinum Games? Why can’t Switch owners ask for the Dark Souls Trilogy and Overwatch and still get something original from those developers? It is possible to have both and if the demand is there, we all know it is, supply just makes sense.

I’m all for ports if they make sense. Some are odd but if it makes one person happy, I say go ahead. I like to keep my old consoles and collect older ones I’m missing so ports aren’t that big of a deal to me but Nintendo’s new console has somewhat changed that. The ability to play all games on the go and seamlessly play on my television means more to me that all the Ks in the world because of my hectic lifestyle. That’s why I’m an up for ports on the Switch.

There is, however, one version of ‘Port Begging’ I do not support and I don’t think any of us should and that’s when a publisher is behind it. Don’t ask me to retweet a post on Twitter to show how bad I want a game. Namco Bandai tried that with Project Cars 2. Also, don’t tell me you’ll consider bringing a game over if another one of your titles sells well. Once again, Namco Bandai tried that with Dragon Ball Fighter Z. There are other ways to gauge interest. What makes this so odd and a poor way to gauge interest is that the first Project Cars had its share of problems and Wii U owners never got the version they were promised. With Dragon Ball Fighter Z it’s a little different.

Dragon Ball Fighter Z and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 are for two different audiences. One is a competitive three versus three fighter and the other is an RPG fighter. Some players may not have interest in both and holding the release of one to boost the sales of the other is wrong.

Namco Bandai is not the only one, just the ones to come to mind. Capcom is guilty of this as well. There are better ways to figure out of the demand for your game is there. I understand the failure of the Wii U has made publishers scared of wasting resources on a version that would hurt more than help, especially with how extensive game development is, but they need to find other ways. A version of Dragon Ball Fighter Z for Switch has not even been hinted at despite how well Nintendo’s version of Xenoverse 2 sold. Also the sales figures for Switch, already having surpassed Wii U, show that the console is here to stay and it practically prints money for whoever releases games on it (Look at Wonderboy who sold more on Switch than the other consoles combined).

What are your thoughts on ports? Want to see more? Tired of them? What about the popular phrase of ‘Port Begging’? Are publishers right in having potential customers buying one of their other games to show desire for another? Leave a comment and let’s chat.

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