The PC game-streaming app, Rainway, has had quite an interesting history on Nintendo Switch. The development team showed the app running several times in numerous teases, and even went to the point of showing it off on Switch in a video advertisement. Despite these actions, the team insists that these were all mere matters of “proof-of-concept,” showing what could be done. The situation has culminated with the recent announcement that the actual development of the app on Switch is no longer active due to not receiving approval from Nintendo. Instead, the Xbox One and Android versions are currently being worked on. What’s interesting about this is that, just a few days earlier, the team said they were “still working on it”. I can’t help but wonder if Rainway on Switch was ever really going to happen.
The aforementioned actions that the Rainway team have taken are just far too suspicious, in my opinion. If I’m going to be honest, it really all just comes off as a cheap marketing scheme.
The Switch was the “hot new thing” throughout the majority of 2017. That’s natural considering it had launched early in the year. It would seem that the Rainway developers saw this as the perfect opportunity to get the word of their new app out to the masses. This definitely worked, considering that the streaming-functionality on Switch was and still is an interesting (albeit an admittedly worrisome one too). After all, the system was designed to be as versatile as possible. That makes a game-streaming app like Rainway a rather natural fit. The developers knew this, hence why I believe they jumped on the opportunity to promote themselves with the various “concepts” of the app on the system.
Although this is still my own theory, I’m having a hard time believing that this isn’t the case. Seeing that the developers have insisted the reason no work is being on the app is due to not having received approval from Nintendo, that leaves me to wonder why even bother teasing it in the first place? It ultimately just makes it look more like this whole thing really has been nothing more of a facade to bait consumers into checking out the app.
As I mentioned in my article about my disappointment with Ubisoft over the cancellation of the Switch version of Steep, promoting a game (or in this case an app) on a system is the equivalent of promising that it would be there. If you’re not 100 percent sure it can be done, why show it off? It’s totally different than a developer just making a casual statement like: “Oh, we’ll think about bringing ‘XYZ’ to the system”. In fact, several developers have said such a thing when asked if a game would be coming to the system. Other times, the answer has just been a flat-out “no”. Approaches like these, even the vague “maybe,” are far more genuine than the teases like what’s been seen with Rainway and Steep. It’s simple—if the devs know/believe that a project can’t be done on any given system, simply dismiss the thought rather than adding false fuel to the fire.
I decided to confront the team directly with my theory under the very Tweet they posted announcing the shift in development attention. Here’s the exchange.
As you can see, they claim that I’m mistaken and tried to provide an excuse, stating that they’re “just working on more attainable projects” while waiting to possibly be approved by Nintendo. A cordial response, I must admit. Initially, I just shook my head at it and left it at that, then retiring for the night. When I woke, I was met with several Twitter notifications due to people liking my tweet. Upon looking at the thread, I noticed something was off; I couldn’t see the original post. I then tapped the Rainway team’s main profile, only to find that I had been completely blocked.
My initial reaction to this was a mild chuckle. But within a few moments, the thought came to me: “If what I said was a mistake, as they claimed, then what’s the point of blocking me? Did I touch a nerve?” People getting blocked on social media for ‘callouts’ is certainly nothing new. In matters of genuine harassment, this action is perfectly understandable. But, then there’s the other side of the story: sometimes the truth hurts. If my comment wasn’t true, then why issue a block? After all, I didn’t bother to respond to their comment on my claim. My intention wasn’t to try and fight, but rather to get a straight answer, which they did provide. Although I didn’t (and clearly still don’t) believe their answer, I decided to leave it be. But, it appears my initial statement was taken to be too threatening. Well, all I can say about this is that I would hope to be proved wrong, Rainway.
As I said before, this situation boils down to one principle—don’t bother hyping a project if it cannot be fulfilled. True, obstacles do arise unexpectedly. Sometimes circumstances do take a drastic change in course. But, given the aforementioned circumstances of this situation, it ultimately just seems far too suspicious to me for this to have just been a “woops”. But, as I’ve said before in my reports about this news, I’m still willing to wait and see if anything truly does come of this. If the app ever does see release on Switch, I’ll be the first to admit that I should have trusted the team’s words. But, for now, I personally don’t see much of a reason to do so when their actions only seem to point to misdirection.