One reason often cited when people ask why the Wii U was a sales failure is the console’s lack of third-party support. As a result, Nintendo has been aggressive about pursuing third-party support for the Nintendo Switch, securing deals with over 70 developers to develop games for its new console and bring big name third-party franchises to the device. Among the major third-party games in store for the Nintendo Switch is the top-selling soccer series FIFA, and we now know that FIFA for the Switch will be built from the ground-up for the console.
Speaking to GameReactor at a FIFA event in Paris, EA Sports CCO Peter Moore revealed that FIFA 18 for the Switch will be “custom-built” for Nintendo’s handheld/home console hybrid. Some are worried that this means FIFA 18 on the Switch won’t be quite as fully-featured as its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts, as we saw with many EA Sports Wii titles, but that remains to be seen.
“Well, as we have said, we are custom-building a FIFA version for the Nintendo Switch. It will be FIFA 18, and it will obviously be later this year when FIFA 18 comes out.”
Based on Moore’s comments, it seems as though FIFA 18 on the Switch won’t be a last-gen port of the game as previously rumored. This is good news, but we still have yet to see the game in action beyond brief snippets in commercials, so it’s still possible that it will have inferior graphics or a less elaborate suite of online features compared to other versions of the game.
Nintendo’s support for online multiplayer gameplay has been weak in the past, but it seems like the company is trying to turn things around with the Nintendo Switch. We know that the Nintendo Switch’s online service will require a subscription like Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus, so it’s reasonable to assume that Nintendo is investing more in providing a quality online experience for Switch owners. If the Switch’s online functionality is on par with the competition, then perhaps EA Sports won’t have to remove any features from FIFA 18 as it has done for FIFA games on past Nintendo consoles.
Even if FIFA 18 on Switch lacks some of the franchise’s popular online modes, fans should be able to count on the game sporting all offline game modes. Along with the standard game modes, FIFA 18 is bringing back the story campaign that was added to last year’s entry, which should give Switch owners plenty to do when they’re out and about and away from wi-fi.
All of this is just speculation until EA Sports reveals more concrete details about FIFA 18 later this year. In the meantime, Moore’s comments do let us know for sure that FIFA 18 is being custom-built for the Nintendo Switch, and that the game will likely release at the same time as versions of it launch for other consoles.
FIFA 18 will be available later this year for Nintendo Switch and other unspecified platforms.