Following Electronic Arts‘ press conference during E3 2017, the company released details regarding the Nintendo Switch version of FIFA 18, confirming that it will lack several of the features included in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One editions of the sports title. Although the platform will reduce the amount of gameplay elements found in the soccer release on the platform, the publisher is using FIFA 18‘s Switch port as a test for the popularity of its games on the console, and will determine if more of its games come to the Big N’s newest system should the sports title be a success.
This much was revealed by Electronic Arts‘ executive vice president Patrick Söderlund while speaking to Edge Magazine, who explained that while the company wants to support the Switch, at the end of the day, it comes down to whether or not releasing games on the platform is a viable decision from a financial standpoint. However, the EA executive didn’t divulge what other “couple” of games could be in the cards should FIFA 18 sell well on the system.
“We want to be a part of the Switch, and help Nintendo grow that installed base […] 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.”
This doesn’t sound too encouraging for fans who have been anticipating the chance to experience a lot of Electronic Arts games on Nintendo Switch, as the last FIFA port for the Big N’s Wii U console was considered to be a failure. Plus, with FIFA 18 being a more limited version of the game compared to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One editions, it’s quite possible that the majority of the fan base will prefer to play the title on Sony and Microsoft’s current-generation consoles in order to receive the full experience.
On the other hand, though, Capcom decided to run a similar test with its games on the Nintendo Switch, by staking the future of its titles arriving on the platform on the success of Ultra Street Fighter 2. Apparently, the fighting game sold enough copies to warrant further support of the system, which is an outcome that could certainly occur once FIFA 18 releases for the Switch.
All things considered, while FIFA 18 on the Nintendo Switch won’t contain the Journey mode and will lack the power of the Frostbite engine, the strength of the console’s sales and fans’ desires for a solid sports game on the system could lead to the success required for Electronic Arts to put more of its titles out for the platform. Of course, only time will tell.
FIFA 18 is set to launch on September 29, 2017 for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.