Electronic Arts Says Its Customers Just Aren't That Interested In Switch Versions

Screenshot: Nintendo, YouTube

The Sims on Switch seems like a no-brainer. It’s a chill game about managing the daily life of virtual human beings where high-end graphics and framerate don’t really matter. In a recent earnings call, however, the head of Electronic Arts explained why the publisher sees things differently, and why it hasn’t brought The Sims — or much of anything else, really — to Switch.

“Any time we’re evaluating platform conversations, we are really looking at a couple of things,” Andrew Wilson, the CEO of EA, said during a Q&A with investors yesterday, after being asked why The Sims wasn’t on Nintendo’s popular console. “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 to go there? Or would they prefer to play it somewhere else?”

Wilson said that EA’s data shows that “a great many” owners of the Switch are also owners of an Xbox One, a PlayStation 4, or a PC, and “very often choose the play the games that we make on those platforms even though they have a Switch.” In other words, EA doesn’t feel that making Switch versions of its games would be especially lucrative since even Switch owners would just play them on other platforms, instead.

Speaking specifically about The Sims, Wilson seemed to indicate that the potential difficulty of sharing content on Switch might have been a factor, saying he expected the 7 million new players who came to the game in the last few months to stay engaged “on a platform that is really tailored to user-generated content, creativity, and customisation.”

The few games that Electronic Arts has ported to Switch haven’t exactly been without criticism either. The Switch version of FIFA 19 was the worst-looking version of the game by a long shot, for example. In the past, EA has also accidentally advertised FIFA 19 features in the Switch version of the game that aren’t actually in the game.

Earlier this month, some Switch users reported getting a survey from Nintendo about FIFA 20 for the Switch, which apparently asked them if they were interested in buying the game, and asked for follow-up reasons if they said “no.”

It’s not clear whether so many players prefer to play EA games on other platforms because the Switch versions are perceived to be so inferior in some instances, but it’s certainly one possibility. Whatever the reasons, EA seems to have decided they are enough to make The Sims not worth porting in the near future.


Comments

    EA's Switch ports are shit, FIFA 18 is a turd of a game compared to PS/Xbox version. Why would Switch owners be interested in playing their games?

      If I understand correctly what he's saying, Switch owners ARE interested in playing their games. Just not on the Switch :P

    Yes, players are more likely to own a console that came out three and a half years before the Switch was released. And yet, players are actively spending more on the Switch than other platforms. *hmm*

    So, basically, EA can't port games for shit, no one wants to buy their half assed unoptimised Switch editions, so they think that means no one wants any games at all, instead of realising maybe they need to expend some actual effort

    EA you need to back the hell off!
    It's not us Switch gamers that are taking the blame for the lack of EA Games it's you guys who are taking the blame especially you Andrew Wilson you're the CEO that's to blame!
    I'm getting sick and tired of this bullshit EA back the fuck off now!
    It's not us to blame EA it's you guys so back off!

    "Well... If we just don't release Switch versions, customers won't be interested in playing them on Switch because they can't."

    "Somebody promote that man."

    Let me take the contrarian opinion to those above.

    The Switch as a console makes only 1/2 a TFLOP in FP32 (those TFLOP numbers that Nintendo likes to bandy about are FP16, which barely anything is coded as, even on the Switch).

    Thats a bitch of a platform to target. Its even more of a bitch to get games running well, and even more than that, what works in a portable and docked format.

    I can't think of many of EA's games that wouldn't have issues with those three things. As for saying, 'everyone else is doing it', really? The only AAA titles that I think work well on the Switch are Ninty's, everything else are indies, vertical slices, or look/play like shit (Bethesda's ports).

    Until a Switch Pro comes out with at least a 1.5x performance uplift, I agree with EA.

      Yeah, there's a strong case for what you're saying - look at the big 3rd party AAA games of last year: RDR2, COD, BF5, Assassin's Creed, etc - none were on Switch.

      I'm not sure if the same situation applies to The Ims, though? I've never played a Sims game, but from a distance they don't LOOK that demanding from a tech point of view?

        The issue then becomes developing tooling for a subset of your games. We all know how heavily invested EA is in Frostbite (and all the issues it caused {RIP Bioware}) for example.

        Whilst I think the Sims would work well, what value will you get out of porting that tooling if you aren't going to do many other titles. With the Sims, thats even more apparent as the Sims engine is specifically only for the Sims.

        Whilst I think EA could make money off porting the sims, I can understand the reluctance why, especially when they think they have good buy in already anyway.

        Graphically they might not look demanding. But there is a lot of background calculations that go on that keeps track of what's happening in your neighbourhood. Sims games are quite CPU intensive because of that.

        Plus save games become more bloated the longer you play them because of its saving and tracking more and more data. So the game would tank performance-wise after a while. It was a common issue with the sims 3 where you would need to download a 3rd party tool to essentially spring clean your save game of useless information.

          Is The Sims mobile game fully featured or seriously pared back? You'd think if it can run on a phone it should be able to run on a Switch?

            Sims mobile is no where near the full game.

    Noting that people will buy EA games on other platforms if they are absent on the Switch isn't quite the same thing as saying people would still prefer to buy them on other platforms if they were available on the Switch.

    I can kind of see it making sense for EA if they believe that a Switch port wouldn't increase the market for the game overall. And that might be correct, even if you do have some fans re-buying games to play them on a portable.

    Do Nintendo make it harder to put microtransactions on their hardware? Genuine question, I really don't know. But also asking FIFA players if they wanna play on Switch is always gonna come back with a resounding no

    Plus porting their games would mean EA needs to put more resources into a title and they're all about maximum revenue for minimum effort

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now