When Mega Man Legacy Collection, and in turn Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 were each announced and released across a multitude of platforms, Nintendo console owners looked out upon their brethren and cried out "Why not us?"
That cry was eventually answered when Capcom revealed late last year that for the Blue Bomber's 30th anniversary, both games would be coming to Nintendo's latest platform, the Nintendo Switch. Little did they realize at the time, however, that while their wishes had indeed been answered, it had been a monkey's paw listening to their pleas.
As such, when details came out a few months ago about the Nintendo Switch release, and specifically the physical version, people fittingly went ape-s*** when they learned that only the first (and smaller) of the two collections would be found on the Switch's Game Card; the second would have to be downloaded regardless of how they were to purchase it.
The question of the hour -- or day, or however long you want to go leading up to and following the game's recent release -- has been why the content was split like this. After all, there should be more than enough room for both on a single Switch Game Card, right?
Well, Jaxel of Console Gamer Archive believes he may be able to shed a little light on the subject:
Of the two possible explanations given, one almost has to hope it's the "red tape" reasoning. While there would need to be additional work done to stitch the two together, even the popular Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt cartridge which came with many a Nintendo Entertainment System had a simple but functional front end for the two games. I know Capcom is trying to keep costs down, but one would hope they wouldn't have their purse strings tightened that much.
The obvious solution then might seem to be to just use two Game Cards, but even at smaller sizes, that's a cost that might very well add up. Numerous articles have been written about the issues with the Game Card sizes and costs to publishers, so I'll just leave you to peruse those.
That just leaves the question of why not use the single Game Card for Mega Man Legacy Collection 2, and make the original, smaller game the download? According to Nintendo Everything, Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 for the Nintendo Switch weighs in at 3.2GB, and the Nintendo Life article linked above notes that Game Cards are available in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB sizes. That means they'd have to go in on the 4GB, and perhaps their budget (including the price they wanted to sell the games at) didn't allow for that?
Make no mistake, it's not a pleasant situation, but at least now maybe we have some light shed on why this is being handled in such a way. Of course, as Jaxel notes, that doesn't explain why Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 + 2 is being handled in the same way, but there's still plenty of time to speculate about that.