If you are a COD fan reading this, you may currently be having a hard time staying awake after being up late on Call of Duty Modern Warfare's launch night slaying noobs online. On the flip-side, if you are a COD fan that only owns Nintendo's latest console...then 'Dawg eat yuh Suppa!' (local Jamaican saying meaning 'you are out of luck') as it's been six long years since one graced the home of the Big N. As such, on Modern Warfare release day and with the Nintendo Switch dragging the Big N back to the forefront of the gaming landscape, I question if Activision is actually making a giant mistake by once again skipping another Nintendo console.
THE SWITCH IS NO WIIU
At this point, many of you may already come to the conclusion that the answer to this question is pretty straight forward...' It will always look and play better on Xbox/PS4'. There is no denying this is straight fact but, we approached this from a business viewpoint that there does exist a sizable install base on the Nintendo Switch and thus, Activision could be just leaving money on the floor by not tapping into that market. I will acknowledge that their experience with the ill-fated Nintendo WiiU may have left a substantial scare but, it's clear that the Switch is a different beast selling like gangbusters and already surpassing the Wii U's putrid install base.
Call of Duty Ghost was the last COD on a Nintendo console were it performed the worst commercially among the Xbox One/Xbox 360 & PS4/PS3
"But, a sizable portion of that market also own an Xbox/PS4, so why would gamers gravitate to a potential Switch version?" Again, the Switch is a different beast to other consoles which has quickly become Nintendo's MO. Of course, their reluctance to follow the crowd had hurt them before but, in the case of the Switch, it worked in there benefit. The hook of docking and undocking a portable unit is what will most likely garner potential COD fans' attention as the option of racking up killstreaks on the go is a tantalizing picture. As seen with Activision Blizzard's other big shooter Overwatch, the portable aspect (along with potentially other features like cross-progression) is attractive enough feature to get some COD fans to double-dip and hence doubling Activision's earning potential.
May Be Activison can consult with Blizzard on how to port a shooter to the Switch
Of course, this may have been the plan all along and Activision may wait some months later to release a Switch version to take advantage of the 'Switch Tax' by charging Nintendo gamers full price.
ACTIVISION SAW SUCCESS ON THE WII
Call of Duty's six-year absence from a Nintendo console is made even more puzzling due to Activision's previous success with the series on the Wii. A lot of similarities could be drawn between the Wii and today's Switch, such as being a weak current-gen console with great sales. No doubt the Switch has some ways to go before it can match the commercial juggernaut that was the Wii but, it too had to fight an uphill battle for full third party support. In fact, one could argue the Wii had a much harder task to attract games for core gamers as much of its success was attributed to the casual crowd.
Wii broke new grounds and attracted mostly new casual gamers
However, an install base of over 100 million was just too much to ignore for the majority of third-party publishers, including Activision. Back on November 10, 2008, they took the gamble and ported the original Call of Duty Modern Warefare to the tiny, casual and underpowered Nintendo Wii. A gamble which ultimately paid off as the game went on to sell well over a million, which lead to the release of even more COD games for the rest of the console's life. This success should never be forgotten by Activision and stand as proof that the series can more than holds its own on an underpowered Nintendo console.
THEY COULD ALWAYS RELEASE COD ALTERNATIVES
Okay, I get it....'Triple-A' game development ain't cheap and, to be fair to Infinity Ward/Activision, they never stated why they weren't bringing Modern Warfare to the Switch. Maybe the game's engine just ain't compatible with the console or maybe it all came down to the maths and crunching of numbers (Installation on the other consoles is a whopping 175GB) in making it all fit. But surely, most Nintendo fans would agree that some COD is better than no COD and, would have taken the Modern Warfare Remastering that came to the other consoles. Further options include taking the Fornite route and only release the Blackout Battle Royal mode from Black Ops 4 or even the radical approach of porting there recent mobile Call of Duty. All these alternatives may not be as good as receiving the latest shiny entry in the series but, more than enough gamers would definitely fork over their hard earn cash.
Activison already has the best substitute in the recently released Call of Duty Mobile for Switch Gamers
With the Switch Lite now on board, there is no question that the console is on a rise and its tide taking everything along for the ride including third parties. Games such as The Witcher 3, Doom, Warframe and even Overwatch from the Activision Blizzard family were all recently released and saw success on the Switch. And thus, the absence from one of the world's most popular games just seems like a terrible waste.
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Hey I am Marlon Mcfarlane the writer here at Blue Crescent Studio & a longtime lover of all things Animation & Gaming.