EA’s Excuse For No Nintendo Switch Report Is Tone Deaf and Infantile
Following a small spattering of releases for the Nintendo Switch, publisher Electronic Arts have seemingly given up on the hybrid platform as of late. Though the Switch continues to rise in profile and popularity, EA has been one of the few major publishers to show little-to-no interest in the platform–save for the company’s yearly FIFA offerings. CEO Andrew Wilson recently addressed EA’s snub of the system in a recent earnings call, and the answer didn’t exactly strike the smoothest of tones.
According to IGN, when the CEO was asked whether The Sims 4 would ever appear on Nintendo Switch, he responded with the notion that fans weren’t interested in playing EA properties on the platform. “Any time we’re evaluating platform conversations we’re really looking at a couple of things,” said Wilson.”One, does the game really fit the profile of that platform in terms of the control or the community ecosystem? Two, do we think the community playing on that platform would appreciate the game and go there, or would they prefer to play it somewhere else?”
We have a lot of data that would suggest a great many Switch owners also own a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One or a PC and very often choose to play the games that we make on those platforms, even though they have a Switch and they enjoy a lot of great content on the Switch.”
While Wilson didn’t completely dismiss the idea of The Sims 4 on Switch, his statements do seem to downplay the monumental strides the system has experienced over the years. The hardware notably became the overall fastest-selling in US history and still sees sizeable sales numbers to this day. That’s not to mention Nintendo’s exceptional success with third-party studios, placing games like NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat 11, Bethesda’s DOOM, and Blizzard’s Diablo III among the most popular the Switch has to offer. These unprecedented gets don’t appear to be on the decline either, as one of the most impressively-scaled games in recent memory, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, is also making an unthinkable debut on the platform.
EA may have “a lot of data” to suggest Nintendo’s supposed inferiority when compared to the more powerful PS4 and Xbox One, but it can’t be denied how other publishers’ embrace of the Switch has translated to success. Virtually all aforementioned ports would have lived or died based on their quality and adherence to the base gameplay experience, qualities which EA’s sparse Switch catalog hasn’t exactly brought to the table. So far, EA has only released a total of four games on the Nintendo Switch–FIFA 18, FIFA 19, Fe, and Unravel Two–each arriving as a seeming afterthought by the publisher.
The past two years of FIFA releases did so with a number of enhancements and updates courtesy of the Frostbite Engine, changes that were noticeably lacking in the Switch version of each game. Touted as “Legacy Editions,” these iterations were essentially last-generation versions of FIFA, albeit with modern roster updates and a cobbled-together multiplayer. EA’s other two Switch releases came from the indie-focused Originals program: atmospheric adventure game Fe and yarn-based puzzle-platformer Unravel Two. While these smaller-scale games were very much in the Nintendo wheelhouse, still, neither were given a substantial push when eventually hitting the Switch.
Despite EA and Andrew Wilson’s unwillingness to pull the trigger on future releases for Nintendo Switch (save for this year’s “Legacy Edition” FIFA 20), the truth is that Electronic Arts has been doing pretty well for themselves lately, at least well enough to distribute company-wide corporate bonuses. There’s evidently little financial motivation for EA to bring their games to Switch, and the company seems largely driven to keep this status quo intact, at least for the time being. Perhaps classics such as The Sims or modern fare like Apex Legends (or dare I say it, Dragon Age) will eventually get their time on Nintendo’s hardware, but until EA begins to see the Switch as a worthwhile system, fans will likely be waiting for a while for that to happen.
What do you think? Do you feel that Electronic Arts should get over their Switch apprehensions, or do you see EA’s point of view? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
Eric Hall2500 Posts
Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.