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No One Seems to be Playing FIFA 18 Ultimate Team on the Nintendo Switch

Is this a sign of the overall sales for FIFA 18 on the Switch?

News by Matt Kim, .

FIFA 18 is out in stores now, and players are logging into EA's massively popular soccer title. There's also a heightened interest this year in the Switch version of FIFA 18, particularly in regards to how it sold. While we don't have the exact numbers for the game's sales, we have an idea of how many players are using FIFA 18's Ultimate Team mode and how many of those players are on the Switch. And though it's not an exact science, the numbers so far don't look too good for the Nintendo Switch version.

A quick search of the PS4 version's FUT transfer listings—the auction house where players are bought and sold—reveals 6,194,450 entries as of this morning. However, the Switch version specifically shows only 27,255 listings. That's a mighty small fraction of players on the Switch trading in Ultimate Team. Especially considering Ultimate Team is FIFA's most popular mode by far.

While we still don't have the exact numbers, GamesIndustry.biz's Christopher Dring reports that FIFA 18 accounted for only one percent of physical copies of FIFA 18 units sold in the UK, a country where FIFA 18 is extremely popular. However, the exact nature of that one percent has come under some debate.

Reports are coming in from UK customers that they're having trouble finding copies of the game at local game stores or on Amazon.co.uk. Some customers in the UK are suggesting that EA under shipped units of the Switch version under lower expectations. There's no concrete data to back this claim other than observational reports of shortages. In addition, we have no data on download numbers.

Still, by any metric, 27,000 transfer listings is an incredibly low number for Ultimate Team.

One potential reason for the low number of Ultimate Team listings from Switch players is the fact that the Switch version was billed more as a portable version of FIFA 18. Meaning FIFA 18 on the Switch is more for local multiplayer and on-the-go play rather than the full FIFA experience. This is backed up by the fact that FIFA 18 on the Switch shipped without features found in other consoles like "The Journey" mode. Compare this with NBA 2K18 that shipped feature complete on the Nintendo Switch.

It's a popular belief that EA is using FIFA 18 on the Switch as a litmus test for how well the company's games could perform on the Nintendo console. Despite telling investors earlier this year that EA is "bullish" on the Nintendo console, reports and interviews suggest that the console agnostic EA is taking a wait-and-see approach to the Switch. This could be a result of the fact that EA published several of its biggest games like Mass Effect 3 on the Wii U, a console that can rightly be called a dud.

However, the Switch is so far performing very well with reports of shortages in retailers, and Nintendo focusing on producing more units to keep up with demand.

We've reached out to EA Sports for a comment regarding Switch sales for FIFA 18, and will update the story with any devemlopments.

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Comments 6

  • Avatar for Captain-Gonru #1 Captain-Gonru 2 months ago
    I'm picking my copy up this week, and have zero interest in Ultimate Team. So I guess I'm not helping your data.
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  • Avatar for KCC #2 KCC 2 months ago
    Yawnnnnn.

    Love the Switch? Great.
    Expect the Switch to be any different from 1st-party -entric monster than Wii/Wii U? Stop hallucinating.

    Nintendo has INCREASED it's anti-consumer stance since the Wii U era, and although the Switch itself is attractive this in no way means it is so for devs, publishers, or (swallow this down, crowd) consumers.

    You don't buy a Nintendo system for any reason other than Nintendo, and the group most drilling this home is Nintendo. 3rd party fully exist in a Sink-or-Swim world with the platform, and so they shell out just enough to have that gamble concerning, a calculated gamble, I add, which they can recover from should (really, When) it falls negative.

    It doesn't matter that the Switch is the first console platform that has the ability to hold console/pc-centric Gamer's hands as it leads them with non-bias lucidity into the option of portable gaming; that isn't as big as you think, because any type who has negated the portable experience this far, which has been PHENOMENAL since the GBA, clearly doesn't give a s*** about gaming portably, even if that is just lain prostate in bed.


    So what does this mean? Exactly what everyone with a brain already knew. Nintendo platforms are anti-consumer, ESPECIALLY in the digital realm which is increasingly (and will only increase further) important, seeing as you don't actually own anything but rather your Nintendo system itself does. And yes, the obtuse medium decisions further alienate consumers, which Nintendo has already proven, and will continue to prove, they are more than willing to further deviate and obscure so to force an intrinsic dependence upon the corporation itself to have an enjoyable experience (which is lunatic and increasingly proving to not work/be true).

    Let Nintendo die, please. Seriously. Let them go broke, and bring their teams to 3rd party where they would actually be able to celebrate their well-earned accolades and sales numbers without having to cripple such achievements by blatantly attacking those people who made such successes possible.
    It's a garbage company; accept that, and bring them down. Like a child, they will only learn from repercussions, and they're well overdue for such.
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  • Avatar for not_themilkybarkid #3 not_themilkybarkid 2 months ago
    @KCC Or we could, y'know, relax and play some fun games?
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  • Avatar for Jonnyboy407 #4 Jonnyboy407 2 months ago
    @not_themilkybarkid can I upvote this more than once?
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  • Avatar for Ethan24 #5 Ethan24 2 months ago
    Why are we basing opinion from physical copy sales? I have both PS4 and Nintendo Switch and I picked up FIFA 18 digitally for my switch. Every game I have purchased for the last 2 years has been digital. PS4 also has 65 million units sold versus about 5 million for Nintendo Switch. So obviously there is much more of a market on the PS4. I have bought Fifa in past years for PS4 and Xbox One so you don't necessarily have to choose just one system to support.
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  • Avatar for Captain-Gonru #6 Captain-Gonru 2 months ago
    @Ethan24 Speaking of digital sales, FIFA is currently #9 on the eShop's Recent Best Sellers list.
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