Nintendo eShop sales will no longer factor free games into the charts — the days of developers "selling" a game for 100% off to climb the sales rankings are apparently over.
Previously, the smaller-sized game publisher No More Robots detailed the results of an informal analysis of the company's sales on the Nintendo eShop. In it, Mike Rose discovered that heavy discounts play a huge factor in helping games climb up the charts.
The ability to discount a game to 100% was used in a rather interesting way last year — Qubic Games gave away 10 Nintendo Switch games last year in a chain event. Grab Game #1 on Day 1 and you would be eligible to grab Game #2 on Day 2 and so on. A 100% discount, however, also allowed some games to climb the sales charts very rapidly (which would consequently result in actual sales once the discount ended). Now, that can't happen anymore.
What Changed in the Nintendo eShop?
Simply put, it appears that Nintendo has changed its store ranking algorithm to exclude games that were discounted at 100% off. That's not to say that games can't be given away with a 100% discount, mind — it's just that these "sales" won't help a game climb the ranks any longer. No one is quite sure when the changeover happened; it was recently revealed by the GameDiscoverCo newsletter and subsequently reported on MCV UK.
"I reckon in around a year’s time, the eShop is going to look like the [Apple] App Store[...]" – Mike Rose, No More Robots
"The way it’s going now, I reckon in around a year’s time, the eShop is going to look like the App Store – tons of cheap-looking titles that were clearly thrown together in the space of a few months, all selling at a dollar each," No More Robots' Mike Rose told MCV UK. "And everyone trying to make an honest living on Switch, won’t be able to anymore. I can’t imagine how else it’s going to go"
Despite these changes, there are still likely to be heavy discounts on the eShop based on Mike Rose's analysis that was detailed back in September 2020. Should that prove to be the case, we can expect to see a general driving down in prices — with all the positive and negative implications that come with it.
What do you think of games that ranked on the Nintendo eShop sales charts with a 100% off discount? Do you think games ought to be cheaper in general or are their prices typically fine? Let us know in the comments below!