Every 2022 Nintendo Switch Exclusive Known to be in Development

With a new year stretched out ahead of the gaming community, the console developers of the world are ready to fire up their exclusives for a successful year. 2021 didn't offer as many high-profile titles as players are used to, as the consequences of delayed development due to COVID-19 reared their head throughout the year.

Thankfully, the game industry seems to have moved past and adapted to these problems now, so 2022 is set to be a fantastic year for games. Nintendo arguably has the strongest lineup of first-party franchises in the entire industry. The characters they have under their belt are some of gaming's most iconic, and almost all of them are set to appear in brand new games in 2022 for an incredibly strong lineup.

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2022's First-Party Nintendo Switch Exclusives

The first-party games are what makes Nintendo, Nintendo. To a certain extent, gaming history is Nintendo's history, and it's always a joy to see the modern world welcome a new game from one of its characters.

Starting with Mario, while there are no platformers announced for 2022, there is a sequel to the unexpected hit of 2017, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. It was a bizarre crossover when it was announced, but surprisingly, consumers and critics heavily praised the game. This sequel, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, promises to expand on the first game with new abilities, new characters and stunning new environments.

Less than a month away is highly-anticipated Pokemon Legends: Arceus. This game is like nothing ever seen before in the franchise. This game sees players enter the ancient Pokemon world, catching Pokemon out in the wild without battling them, instead facing off against them as a trainer. It's rare to see the Pokemon franchise take such a massive step outside of its comfort zone, so fans are excited to see how this game fares.

Later in the spring, one of the biggest surprises from last year's Nintendo Direct showcases launches, a brand new Kirby adventure. Dubbed Kirby and the Forgotten Land, it will be the first mainline Kirby game to feature full 3D platforming. The Kirby franchise traditionally hasn't sold as well as Nintendo's other first-party franchises outside of Japan, but with the innovative gameplay and more significant marketing push, it looks like Nintendo are trying to change that.

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Nintendo's newest major first-party franchise is getting its third instalment in 2022 with Splatoon 3. This game has a more worn-down atmosphere than the first two Splatoon titles, set in a desolate landscape that feels almost post-apocalyptic. It seems to be at odds with the fun and fluid design of the Inklings, but if it has a fun tone and doesn't take itself too seriously, then it could be quite the romp.

Finally, one of the most anticipated Nintendo games in recent memory, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, is currently set to launch in 2022. While the general lack of information may lead some to believe it could be delayed, at present, it should be in players' hands before the end of the year. Nintendo has been keeping its cards very close to its chest about this one, so it's unclear exactly what kind of new features or story elements players are in store for. However, given the roaring success of the first Breath of the Wild game - being recently declared Japan's favourite game of all time - fans are expecting great things.

2022's Third-Party Nintendo Switch Exclusives

One of the significant factors that gives the Nintendo Switch such a strong lineup of exclusive titles is the number of third-party developers they have making content for it. With such a big influence in Japan, all kinds of companies there are happy to work with Nintendo and bring their grand visions to life on their consoles.

March is looking to be an extremely strong month for Switch fans, as three major exclusives are set for release. The first is Rune Factory 5. This title is already out in Japan, being released in May 2021, but it will finally reach the west in March. With a colorful cast of characters to romance and more monsters to farm than ever before, this is looking to be a worthy entry into the franchise.

There is also a game highly anticipated by most JRPG fans in Triangle Strategy. This game looks to combine the beautiful visual and narrative style of 2018's Octopath Traveler with the brilliant and engaging gameplay of Final Fantasy Tactics, and the Fire Emblem franchise. With each character having unique battle mechanics, and an engaging story where the player's choices carry weight, it seems to have something for every kind of JRPG fan.

On the lighter side of things is Chocobo GP, an odd title fans are already enamoured with. Since another Mario Kart game seems to be years away at this point, fans are highly anticipating another company trying to make a major kart racer for Nintendo Switch. This time, Square Enix is having a go by using the endlessly marketable Chocobos from the Final Fantasy franchise. With all the different characters having unique abilities, this game hopes to set itself apart from the other major player in the genre.

Brand-new titles aren't the only thing Switch owners are looking forward to in 2021, as the remake of the classic Advance Wars games is coming to the console in spring. Named Advance Wars 1+2: Reboot Camp, this game is a combined remake of both original titles. This light-hearted strategy game gained a large following during its initial releases, and the fans made enough noise to get Nintendo's attention.

Finally, there is a game with no set release date yet that was announced a long time ago. Bayonetta 3 went dark for so long after the 2017 announcement that many fans had given up hope it would release, believing it to be cancelled. Their fears were alleviated at the end of the most recent Nintendo Direct, when a trailer dropped declaring the game's arrival in 2022. It's not clear exactly what the game will add to the franchise, but Nintendo fans are all the more excited knowing it's just on the horizon.

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Ryan Woodrow (103 Articles Published)

Ryan Woodrow is a writer based in London, England. A graduate in Game Studies at Staffordshire University, he's currently a list writer for Game Rant. In his spare time he plays video games & board games, as well as watching pro-wrestling.

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