EA’s using FIFA 18 to gauge future Switch support

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Instead of throwing caution to the wind and supporting Nintendo’s Switch from the get-go, Capcom decided to hedge its bets on nostalgia. They released Ultra Street Fighter II, using its success – or potential lack thereof – as a gauge for future support for Nintendo’s fledgling console.

It was almost as if they were holding Switch owners ransom – and it looks like EA’s doing the same thing. Next month, Electronic Arts will release their Switch version of FIFA 18, and they’ll be using its success to determine just how much they’ll be supporting the Switch in future. Speaking in the latest edition of EDGE (via Nintendo Insider), Electronic Arts Worldwide Studios executive vice president Patrick Söderlund said that he wants to see as much of the company’s portfolio on the Switch.

“What I will say is, we will appear on any platform where there are consumers, and players. We believe that we want to be a part of the Switch, and help Nintendo grow that installed base; that’s why you’ll see FIFA, which by the way is really good this year. It’s a full-fledged FIFA game, for the first time to be honest, on a portable device.

That said, he did say that becomes a resource problem. As you may know, EA has shifted its development almost entirely to the Frostbite Engine. It’s an engine that unfortunately doesn’t run on the Switch, so games need to be retooled specifically for the hardware.

“But at the same time we have to look at it from a resource standpoint and, at some point, the numbers become a factor. So for us it’s about supporting the platform, building technology for the platform, testing it out with big things like FIFA – and maybe a couple of others, we’ll see – and if they go well, I see no reason why we shouldn’t have as much of our portfolio on that platform as possible. I hope we get there, that would be my personal ambition.”

It’s something that worked out for Capcom. Ultra Street Fighter II went on to sell around half a million copies, becoming a “smash hit” for the company. Hopefully FIFA 18 is successful enough to prompt EA to better support Nintendo’s hybrid system.

Read  Nintendo shows it’s good to be a Switch owner with latest Nintendo Direct

Last Updated: August 14, 2017

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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