SteamWorld Dig 2 CEO Reveals Why He Loves Switch & How It Can Improve

  • Playstation 4
  • Playstation Vita
  • Switch
  • Windows
  • Action-Adventure
SteamWorld Dig 2 on Switch sprang from a GDC 2016 meeting. It could spell a long future for Image & Form on the new platform. SteamWorld Dig 2 is available on Switch, PC, PS4 and Vita.
SteamWorld Dig 2 on Switch sprang from a GDC 2016 meeting. It could spell a long future for Image & Form on the new platform. SteamWorld Dig 2 is available on Switch, PC, PS4 and Vita. Image & Form Games

SteamWorld Dig 2 is leading the way for indie releases on Nintendo Switch with an 88 percent Metacritic rating. For Image & Form CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson, its success stems all the way back to a memorable meeting at GDC 2015, well before the Switch’s full release in 2017:

“At the time it actually looked like it could launch late 2016 and I was eager for us to get our hands on a kit. I met with a Nintendo delegation at GDC in San Francisco in March that year, and was really surprised at the formality of the meeting. I've met with Nintendo people many times both before and after, and that was by far the most peculiar meeting I've had with them. A huge board-room table separated me from a five-person international Nintendo team of big wigs and I suddenly felt more jetlagged than usual. It was clear that I had to come up with some pretty suitable answers to some pretty specific questions. Luckily our release schedule for SteamWorld Dig 2 fit the bill, but I didn't find that out until afterwards. They were as friendly as always - and very secretive.”

With the greenlight secured, the next step, of course, was to port Dig 2 in a way that exemplified a level of polish equal to a first-party Nintendo title. While challenging, the small group of developers had lots of solid inspiration to draw from.

“Almost everyone in the office plays on one Nintendo platform or another,” the studio head said. “They're also more or less the reason why we started making games our way. We take our time and release our games when they're done.”

It’s this level of gameplay consistency across all platforms that has driven SteamWorld Dig 2 to the heights it has reached. Players and critics alike are enjoying an experience that loads quickly, plays fluidly and builds off an engaging loop with mechanics that compliment each other perfectly.

While Dig 2 is also available on major platforms like PS4 and PC, however, Sigurgeirsson was quick to tell us the Switch build is “totally outperforming the others” in terms of sales. As a game with a portable-centric, burst-based concept that plays at Nintendo quality, maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised. That being said, the case of Dig 2 is just one of an emerging trend for small-team creators. The developers of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, Oceanhorn and formula.8 have all claimed their highest sales numbers come from Switch. Given those statistics, Sigurgeirsson teased “there’s a real chance” we may see the studio’s older games ported to the platform too.

That puts the stake in the ground for Image & Form’s future on Switch, but the studio head was also keen to tell us how he feels Nintendo should iterate on Switch in the years to come. Better battery life, a CPU capable of 1080p/60fps portable play and more customization options were at the top of Sigurgeirsson’s list.

SteamWorld Dig 2 is available on Switch, PS4, PC, OS X, Linux and Vita. For more from this interview, read Sigurgeirsson’s thoughts on Dig 2 ’s origins and the state of indie development.

Are you surprised SteamWorld Dig 2 is selling so well on Switch? What would you like to see from a Switch 2.0? Tell us in the comments section!

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