Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, the Take-Two boss acknowledged that the lack of backwards compatibility for a system could be a catalyst for a sales increase, with players re-buying their old favourites, but also claimed that it would break the “contract” with the player.
“I’m not sure,” he tells GI. “You need to give consumers what they want and optimize their experience, and you can’t not deliver a feature you’re able to deliver so as to maximize sales. That isn’t fulfilling your contract with consumers. You have to do the very best you can for them. I suppose it’s possible the lack of backward compatibility could enhance your revenue for a period of time, but at what cost?
“We’re not a hardware manufacturer so we don’t get to make those decisions. But I think if you can be compatible technically, then you want to be. However, in certain instances if the leap forward is great enough, that’s not a possibility.”
VGC’s recent report on the future of Nintendo’s hardware plans painted an unclear picture on the possibility of backwards compatibility for the next Switch.
Nintendo has said it wants to convert as many of Switch’s 100m+ userbase as possible to its next system, although some third-party publishers are said to have expressed concern that legacy support for Switch games could negatively affect sales of next-gen titles.
It’s also been previously suggested that Nintendo could face technical issues when attempting to implement backwards compatibility.
Take-Two has published a large number of games on the Nintendo Switch, notably, the NBA 2K franchise, and the Borderlands games, and next week, it will release Red Dead Redemption on the system. Take Two’s largest game, Grand Theft Auto 5, never received a Nintendo Switch conversion.