EA Explains Why it Doesn’t Put Games on Switch and it’s a Wild Reason

Just put the Mass Effect trilogy on the thing and we'll leave you alone.

[This article originally only noted US sales of the Switch rather than worldwide sales. It has been updated for clarity]

Electronic Arts, one of the biggest companies in the video game industry, has a dedicated page on its own website for many systems it has published games on. For example, if you look at the webpage for PlayStation 4 games that have the EA logo on the cover, you’ll find several pages for games available on Sony’s platform. From the EA Sports standards of Madden and Fifa to Bioware’s Dragon Age and Mass Effect series, EA has dumped a lot of games onto it, as well as Xbox One, which has even more results due to its backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 and original Xbox games.

Then there’s the Switch. Despite having sold 50 million units worldwide and just under 18 million units in the US alone since it launched almost three years ago, EA has elected to put exactly five games onto Nintendo’s handheld/console hybrid. The site lists the following titles as available on Switch:

  • Fifa 20
  • Fifa 19
  • Fifa 18
  • Unraveled Two
  • Fe

Why is this? According to EA, it’s because Nintendo games are the best-selling games on the platform, and it just doesn’t want to play second fiddle to Mario and all his super smash brothers and sisters.

In a conference call for the Q3 2020 fiscal year report, COO Blake Jorgensen said that while EA is super down with Nintendo doing well and the Switch being a really nifty piece of hardware that people actively prefer to play games on (if it can run it at a reasonably comparable level of quality), the best-selling games on it are usually coming from Nintendo itself.

[via USG]

“We are always looking and discussing with Nintendo what else we can put on the platform, and as the platform grows, our interest in adding content grows for that platform,” Jorgensen said. “But we’re also conscious of the fact that the top selling titles, by a long shot, are all Nintendo software. Which is fabulous software, but it helps us balance the realities of how big our markets could be there. But trust that we’re looking at that, you will hear more things in the future about what we’re putting on the platform.”

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What this basically means is that, because Nintendo products are typically at the top of Switch sales charts, EA fears that being below the latest Pokemon or Mario game implies that anything it puts on the device is going to pale in sales comparison. As if there is only room for one company to make a profit off the system.

Honestly, I can only speak for myself here, but if EA were to consider maybe putting the Mass Effect trilogy on the system I would probably be content to let the company go on with its weird, exclusionary approach to deciding what games come to what system. But for every weird reasoning an EA executive touts out to not do sensible things I age another ten years, so I gotta be proactive.