The Switch has received a handful of high-profile sports titles from big developers since its inception. In fact, one of those games were the first to be shown off on the then-new system when it was first announced: NBA 2K. The series left Nintendo for a good while but has come back in full force since the Switch launched. NBA 2K20, which will be the third 2K release on Switch, boasts being the most complex port the dev team at Visual Concepts has put together yet.
In an interview with USGamer, Visual Concepts’ senior producer Rick Boenisch weighed in how the team views their work on Switch.
Boesnich admitted that there was some anxiety before the first Switch release, but it’s been “really cool” to have been “watching the game grow” over time.
NBA 2K18 was notorious for having some bad bugs on Switch when it initially released. The game got better over time with the release of patches, but big refinements had to be made to the core game, which is why last year’s 2K19 fared much better. Boesnich explained why Visual Concepts has been adamant about providing proper support to the Switch. Simply but, he says:
“I think when the demand is there, you get to see the audience who enjoys it, you take advantage of it.”
Boesnich is also a fan of the Switch himself, as he also admitted in the interview that he’s enjoyed playing the game while flying. So, his comments don’t just come from pure PR-speak, but he, too, is personally interested in having an enjoyable product on the machine.
Unlike some people…
While Visual Concepts has been seeking to make improvements to their Switch development skills each year, EA’s FIFA team has gone in the exact opposite direction.
Initially, EA treated FIFA on Switch like the next big thing, promising to deliver a solid experience. In truth, it turned out to be a stop-gap between the PS3/360 and PS4/Xbox One versions, mostly due to it using a custom engine. Last year’s FIFA 19 brought some improvements to that engine, though it still wasn’t as good as the current-gen machines. This year, however, EA has seemingly thrown in the towel altogether, as FIFA 20 on Switch will be a ‘Legacy Edition‘. Literally, just a roster update on top of FIFA 19. That potentially means support could be dropped completely next year, if not just another minor update.
Perhaps 2K might be selling better on Switch than FIFA has, but these are still two high-profile franchises that make millions annually. 2K and Visual Concepts have figured out a simple concept: treat your customers well, and they’ll buy your product. Hopefully, EA can come to their senses and learn the same lesson.