Fans Are Pissed About The Switch eShop’s Asset Flip Scourge – Kotaku

Nintendo Switch eShop ‘Asset Flips’ Are A Scourge, Fans Say

As Wild detailed in an extensive spreadsheet, around 90 games that have been published on the eShop thus far in 2021 can be qualified as asset flips. Of those, the mobile publisher Pix Arts—which you may know as the outfit behind such gems as Jumping Stack Ball and US Navy Sea Conflict—is far and away the greatest offender, having published 34 bona fide asset flips.

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A few weeks back, Wild actually dedicated a whole video to shedding light on the company’s practices. Pix Arts’ Benoît Varasse, who’s listed as the developer on many Switchpublished Pix Arts games, chimed in in the comments, writing:

There’s absolutely nothing illegal nor immoral in buying assets from the Unity Asset Store or graphics from TurboSquid and [making] games out of them. It is also legal to buy a mobile game licence from the Unity Asset Store and make an adaptation on other formats. In fact, it is exactly what the Unity Asset Store and its ecosystem is made for.

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Pix Arts did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Kotaku.

How can you tell a game is an asset flip?

Spotting an asset flip is both an art and a science. Wild first organized games on the eShop in reverse chronological order (via the e-commerce site Deku Deals). He then pinpointed any fishy-looking games. (Wild has “developed a knack” for spotting this sort of thing.) From there, discerning whether or not a game was an asset flip boiled down to either reverse-image searching or trawling asset-selling sites. In some blatant cases, the developer wouldn’t even swap the name of the original asset. Whoopsies.

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Critics of asset flipping believe the practice, though above board, is shady at best—yet another deceptive business practice designed to hoodwink consumers into buying a subpar product with an enticingly low sticker price. Wild, for one, thinks it should stop.

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“Nintendo needs to step up and take some kind of action when it comes to both the asset flips and shovelware that populate the e-shop,” Wild said. “I would also love to make more people aware of the issue in the hopes that they would be a little more cautious with what they buy and who they buy from.”

When reached for comment, a representative for Nintendo said the company has “nothing to announce on this topic.”

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