In February 2017, one month before the Switch took the world by storm, Nintendo published Tank Troopers, a third-person shooter that focused on 6-player tank warfare. Vitei, the devs behind Steel Diver, led development, and apparently made more than just the 3DS version – studio founder Giles Goddard recently stated in an interview with MinnMax that Vitei had a Switch version of Tank Troopers ready to go, but Nintendo passed on it. Additionally, Nintendo cut a multiplayer mode from the game for “an unknown reason.” Goddard’s full quote follows:
We all really wish we could have kept the multiplayer mode in. We actually had it working – it was fine, it worked really well, we tested it, and then they decided to take it out for some unknown reason. So that’s my only regret – we didn’t push back hard enough to keep that in.
And also we had a Switch version. It was running, it was perfect. It looked really, really cool, really high-res, but they didn’t think it was worth sort of putting out on the Switch, which was a disappointment.
Tank Troopers didn’t exactly light it up with the critics, only garnering a 64 on Metacritic. However, much of the criticism pointed at the game criticized the 3DS’ hardware limitations and the lack of online play – two issues that the Switch easily could have corrected. The interview does not note whether online play would have been possible or in the works for Switch, but it would have been nice to see Vitei’s full vision for Tank Troopers realized on Switch. Especially because the Switch had a pretty quiet release window (though hardly anyone noticed, because of how amazing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2 were). It would have been nice to see a small, Nintendo-published online game join the platform’s ranks from the start instead of only hitting the then-dying 3DS.