EA has stated that its future support of the Nintendo Switch will hinge upon sales of FIFA 18, with the company’s executive vice president noting that “it’s a matter of resources” whether or not more EA games will launch on the console.
Speaking with EDGE magazine, EA Worldwide Studio’s executive vice president Patrick Söderlund discussed the likelihood that EA will support the Switch in the same way that it supports the PS4 and Xbox One.
“What I will say is, we will appear on any platform where there are consumers, and players,” Söderlund said. “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.”
Söderlund’s comments suggest EA is taking a similar standpoint to Capcom, who stated that Ultra Street Fighter 2’s sales on the Switch would determine how much the developer supported the platform in the future. While Capcom was largely criticized for this stance as a result of many deeming Ultra Street Fighter 2 an overpriced and underwhelming release, the game went on to exceed the company’s forecasts. EA is hoping that FIFA 18‘s Switch version will enjoy a similar level of success.
“We have to look at it from a resource standpoint and, at some point, the numbers become a factor,” Söderlund continued. “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.”
FIFA 18 is routinely EA’s biggest launch of the year, but the series has historically underperformed on Nintendo consoles. However, the success of the Switch’s handheld capabilities has led many to grow excited by the prospect of being able to play a full-fledged FIFA game on the go, it’s believed that EA could see a surprisingly high number of sales for the sports game.