April 18, 2021

Soapbox: Life Is Strange Belongs On Switch. So Why Isn’t It?


Life Is Strange: True ColorsLife Is Strange: True ColorsSquare Enix/Deck Nine

The Square Enix Direct Presents stream went up just a few hours ago, and despite knowing that we’d be left disappointed, a few of us at Nintendo Life tuned in, hoping to hear about games coming to Switch. Balan Wonderworld was featured, but we already knew about that, and the only other Switch game was Bubble Bobble 4 Friends, which came out on the console in 2019, but is finally being released on the PC, too.

All in all, a bit of a let-down for us Nintendo kids, but… well, we already knew it would be. You can’t always get what you want, as The Rolling Stones would say. But of all the omissions, we find ourselves asking once more: Why isn’t Life Is Strange on the Nintendo Switch?

There hasn’t been much news on that front since DONTNOD, the French studio that made Life is Strange 1 and 2 (but not the prequel Before the Storm, and not the new game, Life Is Strange: True Colors), told GameSpot in 2019 that they’d “love to see Life is Strange and Life is Strange 2 on this console,” but that it was Square Enix’s decision to make. Now that US studio Deck Nine holds the reins to the series, it’s even less clear what’ll happen.

Life Is Strange

However, at the end of last month, a poster on video game forum ResetEra leaked a bunch of information on the games that has turned out to be true, following today’s presentation from Square Enix. They knew the title, and they identified the Asian-American lead correctly, as well as the main mechanic of the game – so it’s safe to say they got their info from a good source.

Regarding Switch versions, the leaker – known only as “Bing” – had the following to say:

“Life is Strange 1 is being ported to the Switch. I’m not sure if the second one and BtS will be ported as well, but I’d imagine that they’d be doing that. The ports should be announced whenever LiS 3 is announced.”

But that’s not turned out to be true so far, unfortunately. In all likelihood, they are probably working on it – but due to COVID, perhaps it’ll take a little longer. There’s even a chance that they’ll announce it shortly after I publish this article, and I will have to eat my hat.

But why has it taken so long to get Life Is Strange on the Switch? I’m not being ungrateful, here – there are plenty of fantastic indies available on the console already, and believe me, I don’t need another game to add to my ever-growing pile of shame – it just seems like such an obvious home for a game that’s a narrative-focused smalltown story about queer teens.

After all, Nintendo has long been the place to find smalltown stories in Harvest Moon, narrative-heavy games like Ace Attorney, and heartwarming LGBTQ-friendly games like Stardew Valley, Spiritfarer, Night in the Woods, and Monster Prom. Sure, some of those games didn’t originate on the Switch, but they fit in pretty nicely.

Life Is Strange

The lack of Life is Strange on the Switch feels so odd that I often have to remind myself that I can’t write about it on Nintendo Life. Apparently we only cover Nintendo news, although that hasn’t stopped me from talking about Valheim every week in “What Are You Playing” like I’m being paid off by Big Viking.

In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to be content with my real life as a bisexual woman with superpowers living in a small city on the coast. I guess I’ll have to learn the guitar, though.


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