Last night’s Nintendo Direct brought with it at least one surprise (Mario Golf aside… whoop!) in the form of the unveiling of Star Wars Hunters. The game marks a number of firsts. Most importantly it’s Zynga’s first console title, coming to Switch alongside mobile platforms, showing that the mobile goliath has interests in a previously unexplored segment for the company.
We’ve known that Brighton-based Boss Alien, itself part of Natural Motion (which Zynga acquired way back in 2014 for £527m) has been working on the license for some years – probably since 2018 when Zynga secured a mobile license.
With more and more titles, such as the mighty Fortnite itself, playing across console and mobile platforms, it’s no great surprise to see the company take this step.
However, with EA only recently losing the exclusivity deal to create console titles based on the franchise, it brings into question whether Hunters was originally intended for console release, or if Zynga pivoted to the platform when the opportunity arose more recently.
As we reported last week, Zynga noted in its full year report that it’s “actively developing several cross-platform play games.” Specifically mentioning both console and PC crossplay. It felt it was well positioned with “relevant licences and brands” plus “a talented developer base with strong multi-platform experience.”
Coming back to the game itself, it’s described as “a competitive arena combat game… coming in 2021. Star Wars: Hunters will bring players together to engage in thrilling, squad-based, multiplayer battles featuring a diverse array of distinctive new Star Wars characters.”
The game has been confirmed as free-to-play on both Switch and mobile.
“Bringing Star Wars: Hunters to the Nintendo Switch and its passionate fan-base marks an exciting milestone for Zynga,” said Bernard Kim, President of Publishing at Zynga. “We created Star Wars: Hunters for every fan who has ever dreamed about playing a high-intensity action game set in the Star Wars galaxy and are excited to see Switch players embrace our foray into console gaming.”