USG Notebook: Electronic Arts Is Finally Warming Up to the Switch

USG Notebook: Electronic Arts Is Finally Warming Up to the Switch

Welcome to the party.

USG Notebook is a weekly column dedicated to rounding up rumors, tidbits, and commentary that didn't get full coverage on the site.

Since its launch in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch has seen a lot of games come to the platform. Third-party support for Nintendo's hybrid handheld has been strong, with small indies to even large titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt coming to the system.

And now, it looks like one publisher is done dipping its toe in the water. Electronic Arts said yesterday during its quarterly earnings call that "multiple" games are coming to the Nintendo Switch, though details are scant. It's not much, but it's a start for a company that's historically been wary of bringing games to Nintendo Switch.

Back in 2017, FIFA was the sole EA game to launch on the Switch. Patrick Soderlund, then-EA executive vice president, said bringing FIFA to Switch was the publisher's way of showing it would support the platform.

"We have the benefit of being a platform agnostic company," Soderlund told IGN in 2017. "We will be at whatever platform the consumers are. New hardware is always a positive for our industry. It allows us to push forward."

But despite otherwise being purportedly bullish on the platform, support continued to center on ports of the FIFA games. Near the end of 2017, a Wall Street Journal report said EA was trying to fully understand what the demand for its games on the Switch was.

In 2018, FIFA's presence on the Switch was bolstered by two more EA-published indie games: Fe and Unravel Two. Neverthless, releases were slow to arrive. In a July 2019 quarterly call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said the publisher's data indicated that "a great many Switch owners also own a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One, or a PC, and very often choose to play the games that we make on those platforms even though they have a Switch."

Even this last January, COO Blake Jorgensen said EA was "very pleased" with how well the Switch has been doing, but that Nintendo games tend to dominate the platform. With the release of Burnout Paradise Remastered on Nintendo Switch this June and yesterday's quote, it seems like the publisher is finally warming up to the Switch system.

The Nintendo Switch itself, meanwhile, has seen a massive surge in demand due to both the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the number of people staying indoors due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. If there was ever a time to start bringing games to the system, now's a good one. It's nice to see that EA might put some real muscle behind its Switch presence; now, please, let's talk about a Mass Effect trilogy collection.

Here's the rest of what's been happening this week in gaming news.

From the Rumor Mill

  • Following last week's leak of The Last of Us Part 2 story spoilers, some reports have backed up Sony's claim that the leak didn't come from inside Naughty Dog or Sony. Bloomberg's Jason Schreier and Kotaku's Stephen Totilo both report that hackers were likely involved in the matter, exploiting an old vulnerability in Naughty Dog's servers.
  • More rumors are circulating about a potential Silent Hill reveal sometime this month. I'm hopeful it's true, just so the speculation can end. (And a new Silent Hill would be cool too, I guess.)

News and Tidbits

Screenshots for the PC version of Halo 3 and ODST were tucked away in a recent Halo Waypoint blog, below pictures of goats and chickens. It looks like what you would expect—prettier versions of Halo 3 and ODST—but the lack of surprise doesn't dull how good these screenshots look. With Halo 2 hitting PC officially next week, I'm excited to play through these classic console campaigns on a mouse and keyboard soon.

After the Overwatch League moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vancouver Titans tried moving its team back to South Korea from its hometown in Vancouver. The Titans started experiencing difficulties, both technical and strife within the roster, and now the majority of the lineup card has left the team. ESPN reports Vancouver is picking up talent from a Contenders squad so it can field a team for the coming games this season.

Industry Chatter

More rumblings are going around surrounding the bevy of game reveals set for this summer. It's sounding more and more likely that a PlayStation event is due soon, though only Xbox's monthly announcement rollout is on deck right now.

A lot of people are excited for tomorrow's Inside Xbox stream, which kicks off its new monthly rollout and is set to debut more of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, as well as other third-party next-gen games. While most are thrilled for new games and shiny graphics, industry analyst Daniel Ahmad is excited for the return of the "WORLD PREMIERE" guy, as we all should be. It's not E3 season until that booming voice tells me something is exclusive.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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