Like them or hate them, Electronic Arts is one of the biggest third-party companies in the entire industry. It owns a number of very profitable IPs and is also a very large publisher. With such a huge amount of weight to throw around, it’s no wonder why it would be a benefit to any platform to have EA on its side. That is especially true for Nintendo and the Switch.
So far, EA is only bringing one game to the hybrid: FIFA 18. While this may seem like a complete lack of effort, that isn’t really the case. EA decided to only bring FIFA for the time being since it happens to be the biggest IP that the company owns. The series sells millions of copies each year, so much so that the Wii and even PS2 were getting new versions up until just a few years ago. With that said, is this the only EA game we can expect to see on the Switch?
According to the company’s Executive VP of Global Marketing, Laura Miele, EA is currently looking at what other franchises it can possibly bring to the Switch. She made a few comments during a recent interview with GamesIndustry. She emphasized that it’s not the power difference between Switch and other platforms that’s stopping more games from coming, but rather, it has to do with the user base:
“There are technical differences, yes, but I think most importantly there are player differences. When you have a game you’re playing on the go, it’s a different interface, different experience, different features, and different flow I think, then it would be if you’re playing on the sticks in your living room on a TV. So that design consideration always has to be taking place for our players.
On the topic of FIFA:
“FIFA is the largest game in the business, so the offering and expansive footprint FIFA has around the globe will help connect Switch hardware to gamers as well. So I think it’s a strong mutual partnership with Nintendo. We love the mobility of the Switch and I think the content they’ve put out is really strong on it so far. We’re going to continue to watch how the hardware does. We are exploring other products. We are looking at other IP and what the technology connections need to be for that.”
It’s interesting that Miele mentioned that it’s not technical differences which are holding back other games from coming since FIFA 18 on Switch is a custom-built version. It does not use the same advanced engine (Frostbite) as the PS4 and Xbox One versions, but is still more complex than the ‘Legacy Edition’ coming to PS3/360.
What it all boils down to is sales. EA decided to throw its most profitable game out there to test the waters. If the Switch community buys FIFA 18, then you can definitely expect for there to be at least a slow increase in the amount of other titles that come from EA.