At the Nintendo Switch Presentation, EA executive vice president Patrick Soderlund came onstage to announce the publisher's support of the new platform with a single game, FIFA. There were no additional titles announced from EA's considerable stable of games, including Battlefield, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, or any of the other EA Sports games.
In an interview with IGN, Soderlund said that EA chose FIFA because it's the company's biggest brand with the widest reach.
"It's our biggest brand," he said. "It's the brand that spans across the most markets. It's the brand that spans the biggest age demographic. It's a mass market proposition. It's a game a lot of people want to play."
Like with the Wii U though, it seems that EA continued support of the Switch is contingent on the platform's success and the sales of EA games on that platform.
"This is our way of showing we're going to be there. We're supporting the platform. We are not announcing anything [else] yet, but you can expect us to be there once the platform launches and takes off," Soderlund said.
"We have the benefit of being a platform agnostic company," he added. "We will be at whatever platform the consumers are. New hardware is always a positive for our industry. It allows us to push forward."
We've seen this situation before, though the last time there was more enthusiasm. Former EA CEO John Riccitiello joined Nintendo on stage at E3 pledging an "unprecedented partnership" for the Wii U. The full list of EA games on the Wii U came to FIFA 13, Madden NFL 13, Mass Effect 3, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. In one quarter, Wii U sales accounted for 1.3 percent of EA's software revenue, just $9 million of a $695 million total. So EA walked away from the Wii U, leaving that four game list as its only support.
Hopefully, FIFA does well, because the EA Sports churn alone is a big deal for many consumers who dutifully pick up FIFA and Madden every year.