FIFA 18 is making its return to Nintendo consoles after a several year layoff. Later this month, gamers will be able to get their hands on a fully portable version of EA’s annual soccer franchise that has been built for the ground up for the Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately, it’s not all blue skies for fans of the franchise as the Switch version is missing a few features found in the other versions.
Many fans will be pleased to hear that FIFA Ultimate Team will be included but The Journey story mode will notably be missing. What gives? We know FIFA 18 on the Nintendo Switch isn’t actually powered by the Frostbite engine but instead by a custom system that was built with the Switch in mind. As a result, EA deemed it too hard to port the story mode over since it relies so much on the engine. Also missing from the Switch version are Squad Battles and FIFA Ultimate Team Champions.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Andrei Lăzărescu, a producer with EA Sports, said a decision had to be made with the version with the release date coming up.
“Every time we only have a year to do the game,” Lăzărescu told Eurogamer. “You have to be very careful about the choices that we make and the features that we want to put in, because the date will not change. The date will not change in any way.”
This makes it sounds like there was a time crunch involved and the team had to prioritize some modes over others. This leaves the door open in the future for future FIFA games on the Switch, if there are any, to be fully featured titles. Notably, NBA 2K18 on the Switch will be on par with the other consoles so this shows it certainly is possible.
Lăzărescu goes on to say that the design choices may have been made in a decision to shield players from the overwhelming content. He says putting all of these features on a brand new platform may give the players too much content and the game might end up being too huge for a new audience.
“If you look at the history of Ultimate Team on the likes of Sony or Microsoft – I think it’s a seven year history if I recall correctly – that player base has also been accustomed to it already, and has been educated about it already, you know, so if you throw everything from the get go to a completely new player base, you might not get the desired result… even this [as it is] might be too much, it’s huge.”
This could be a real issue if you assume Nintendo Switch owners only buy Nintendo consoles, which probably isn’t a safe assumption. We understand compromises being made for the game due to time constraints and hardware limitations but we’re not buying overload of content angle.
This could end up being one of those situations where future FIFA titles on the console rely on the sales of FIFA 18. If gamers are truly forced to speak with their wallets, why opt for a version with cut features when you can get the fully featured version on Xbox One or PS4 for the same price? It sounds like EA thinks if you’re considering the Switch version then it’s the only option you have. Whatever the case may be, we’re sure Switch owners are happy a FIFA game is coming at all. The last FIFA title to appear on a Nintendo home console was FIFA 13 for the Wii U.
FIFA 18 releases on September 29 for the Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Those who purchase the Ronaldo Edition will have three day early access beginning on September 26.