Last week, it was revealed that certain games (including a few published by Nintendo) would not support cloud saving. Upon reading this news, I quickly grew agitated because of my previous experiences with Switch. I bought mine on launch date and had no issues with it for nearly a year. Unfortunately, last April, my Switch battery was draining within an hour, and it turned out my battery needed to be replaced. This instance caused me to utilize my warranty and get a new console. While I’ve had issues with my Xbox One in the past, my save files have always been secure thanks to the cloud. The problem with Nintendo is that there is no security with my saves.
When my Switch died, I lost 50 hours of progress in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and a save file with almost all moons collected in Super Mario Oddysey. These games are fantastic, but after losing nearly 90 hours of progress between the two games, I never want to go back to them. Additionally, I lost data in all the other games I own. I wrote an article earlier this year about how Nintendo needs to resolve the issue with cloud saving, but it looks like the company has failed once again to do so.
In the Game Informer article I posted above, Nintendo responded as to why certain games like Splatoon 2 won’t support Cloud Saves.
“The vast majority of Nintendo Switch games will support Save Data Cloud backup. However, in certain games this feature would make it possible to, for example, regain items that had been traded to other players, or revert to a higher online multiplayer ranking that had been lost. To ensure fair play, Save Data Cloud backup may not be enabled for such games. To ensure that Save Data Cloud backups cannot be used to unfairly affect online multiplayer rankings, the feature will not be enabled in Splatoon 2.”
This is a sad excuse for not supporting cloud saves for certain games. Is security an issue for Nintendo that they won’t support the feature? On Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Cloud Saving is available for all games. I play on those consoles every single day and rarely see instances of cheating. Are there cheaters online? Absolutely. Do I see it happen often? Not at all. Nintendo is scared about something that people can probably already do without Cloud Saving. Cheaters will always find a way to break the system. Blaming cloud saving is a terrible reason to not support specific titles, including the company’s own published games.
The big kicker for me is the upcoming Pokemon: Let’s Go Eevee and Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu. As someone who has played Pokemon games since Red and Blue launched for Game Boy, I understand the convenience of saving your progress. I’ve had my file corrupt after almost completing the entire Pokedex. Starting an 80-hour journey again is not fun, and honestly, it’s off-putting. I pre-ordered both Let’s Go versions, and planned to play them for a long time. The fact that Nintendo will not be using Cloud Saves for both of these games is a travesty. If I lost my cartridge, had a broken game, or an issue with my Switch, I would be out of luck.
Honestly, enough is enough. I’ve been a fan of Nintendo for 27 years, and my family has supported the company by purchasing every console they’ve made. Even when there have been missteps for Nintendo (the whole Wii U lifecycle was hit or miss and Virtual Boy), I’ve stood by the brand that shaped me into a gamer. Now, I’ve come to a decision. One that will possibly make me miss some of the biggest games coming to the Switch. I’m not going to purchase any games (first and third party) that don’t support cloud saves. Fans have been clamoring for cloud saves for a long time. It’s something the Switch should’ve had since launch.
Nintendo has been friendly with Microsoft recently. The company could team up with Microsoft again to use their servers for Cloud Saves. Why Nintendo has to be stubborn on this issue is beyond me. It sucks that because the brand is scared of people cheating and duplicating items that we all lose out on something essential. What’s worse is that even third-party games are skipping Cloud Saving as well. Unlike first-party games that I need to have a Switch to play, simply put, I’ll be buying all third-party games on Xbox One or PlayStation 4, where I can use Cloud Saving. God forbid that something happens to my console, at least I’ll have a sense of security with Microsoft and Sony’s machines.
The term “vote with your wallet” is used often when people are for or against anything. This phrase means something to me now, more than ever when it comes to Switch. There are so many games I want to play on the console, and quite frankly, games I specifically bought the system to play. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to skip some (if not most of them) if Nintendo doesn’t change the way it perceives Cloud Saves. For every great thing, Nintendo has done this generation; there’s another issue that sets them back. I hate being negative, but there’s no winner when it comes to Nintendo and Cloud-based saving, and that’s a shame.