EA has a pretty bad history with Nintendo of late, dropping all Wii U support months after its launch after initially promising ‘unprecedented support’ for the console. They also dropped support for the (still) successful 3DS- where dropping Wii U support could at least be attributed to low sales of the platform, many Nintendo fans feel that dropping 3DS support is less understandable.
So it makes sense that many eyed EA’s maiden Switch effort, the upcoming FIFA 18, with suspicion- sure, EA was saying all the right things, but did that really matter when they had also said all the right things for the right things with the Wii U, and then pulled out like they did? There has, as a result, been the distinct sentiment that EA is biased against the Switch among Nintendo fans- and according to FIFA 18 Switch producer Andrei Lazarescu, that sentiment has spilled over into assessments of the game, too.
“I’ve been encouraging people to play it because then they will realize that it’s a really quality product,” Lazarescu told GamesIndustry.biz. “Although I’ve talked about it, and that team has talked about it, people see us as being biased. So hey, try it, and everyone who tries it says… ‘OK, I’m going to get this.’ We need people to get their hands on it”
“That’s the frustrating thing about it. I wouldn’t put this against the PS4 or Xbox One version, or vice versa, I would look at them as two individual football games”, he continued. “This one’s biggest advantage is that you can play it on the go.”
Everything he says is sensible, and something I can agree with- there is little doubt that FIFA 18 on the Switch is a quality, full featured product, custom made and tailored to take advantage of the unique benefits of the hardware. There is also little doubt that it comes unexpectedly close to achieving parity with the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game. No disagreements with anything that he said.
But, as always, there is a disconnect between what EA says, and what it does- for instance, if he truly believes that the best way to sell people on the Switch version is to let them go hands on with it, why was the Switch version the only one that didn’t get a demo, while the other versions did?
Hopefully, in spite of EA’s perplexing decisions, the game ends up doing well on the Switch- after all, it really does look like a well made game. FIFA 18 launches on the Switch, as well as on other platforms, on September 29.