Nintendo Switch owners have been dealt a strange blow to their hopes of seeing a full blown version of FIFA 18 on the portable console later this year.
While pleasing to see EA announce that FIFA would be coming to Nintendo Switch during the official console reveal back in January, it was also something of a mixed bag, as many fans didn’t know and still don’t know many details about the game.
Tom Phillips, Deputy news editor at Eurogamer had suggested that the Nintendo Switch version of the game would be based on the 360/PS3 versions which still get made by EA Sports.
In response, EA’s chief competitive officer Peter Moore slapped down the suggestion, taking to Twitter to say the game was “CUSTOM BUILT for Nintendo Switch” and not another port of the game.
A month later, Moore then told Gamereactor: “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.”
However, a recent update from EA has lead many to believe that they could be set to receive yet another lowly watered down version of what PS4 and Xbox One gamers are used to.
A press release for EA Play 2017 – EA’s fan event in lieu of an E3 appearance – lists two very different FIFA titles: FIFA 18 and EA SPORTS FIFA on the Nintendo Switch.
“It’s understandable that some fear a minimised, feature-poor version on Switch, as the Wii and 3DS got regular scaled back efforts,” writes Thomas Whitehead from Nintendolife.com
“it was partly understandable due to the limitations of the systems, though EA notoriously published ‘new’ entries that were fundamentally just roster pack updates.
“Those releases were, aside from the name, very different from the main ‘current-gen’ entries.”
What could be key to the release is the development team who are working on the game, which Peter Moore confirmed earlier this year would be EA’s Vancouver Team.
In the past. the Vancouver development team has been responsible for the Wii U edition of the game, which could, potentially, give us some indication of how FIFA could shape up on the Nintendo Switch.
When the Vancouver Team were in charge of Wii U port, it was built with a few exclusive features to try and make the most of the unique Wii U gamepad.
This included the ability to draw manual runs for players though the touchscreen and also to make substitutions without pausing the game.
It’s unlikely we’ll see these sort of features on the Nintendo Switch – given the lack of second screen support – however, it’s possible the Vancouver team could try to make use of the Switch’s more quirky joy-con features.
For now, we’ll have to wait to find out more at EA Play in just a couple of weeks time, where hopefully all will become more clear.