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Nintendo Switch helps Palia player count soar past major milestone

The MMO has over 3 million players, and it’s not even properly out yet

Palia, the cozy MMO game from Singularity Six, passed a major player count milestone while still in early access, and its makers say the Nintendo Switch is why. Singularity Six director of strategy Yu Sian Tan told that the portable console’s flexibility – plus Nintendo’s help in marketing and development – made it easier for people to take a chance on a new kind of multiplayer game.

"We believe that we struck a chord with players when we wanted to expand the community sim experience by making it more social, creating an environment that encourages players to be kind to one another and having an overarching narrative that players can dive into," she said. "[Nintendo’s] support is invaluable to us as a new game studio. After our launch on the Nintendo Switch, our partnership with Nintendo has only grown stronger."

Palia’s full launch happens on March 25, 2024, and that’s when the real challenge begins: retaining those 3 million-plus players and hoping they contribute enough to keep the game afloat.

"The free-to-play approach can be challenging because it involves a bit of a balancing act between offering engaging gameplay for free, but also introducing effective monetization strategies that do not alienate players or cause unnecessary pressure that would run antithetical to the cozy community sim gameplay we are trying to encourage in Palia," Tan said.

"It's a mix of offering up content with our own unique spin on it that appeals to the player archetypes we expect to be attracted to Palia, but also throwing in new experiences to help players discover something that they might not have expected to like."

She called the free-to-play model a constant learning experience and said the team can only do their best, hope for success, and make adjustments if their audience isn’t happy with something.