EA is opening its Nintendo Switch account with a FIFA title, but the company's executive vice president Patrick Söderlund says that owners can expect more games in the future.
Speaking to IGN, Söderlund outlined EA's decision to support to the console at launch, and why working with the Japanese veteran is so appealing:
We've been with Nintendo for a very long time. I'm a Nintendo fanboy since I grew up. Nintendo is the reason I got into gaming.
What I like about Nintendo is that they come to the table with a slightly different approach. They've done that in the past to great success, and sometimes not so much, but I think unless you're willing to think about something unconventional, it's going to be hard to break ground.
Nintendo forces us to think differently; [Switch] challenges conventions. As game makers, makes us think about the platform in a different way.
Söderlund cites EA's choice of FIFA as its first Switch release as evidence that it's taking the console very seriously:
It's our biggest brand. 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. 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.
We have the benefit of being a platform agnostic company. We will be at whatever platform the consumers are. New hardware is always a positive for our industry. It allows us to push forward.
Indeed, Söderlund is optimistic that the Switch can carve out its own niche in a market which feels divided between consoles and smartphones:
There's no denying [smartphones are] the biggest platform today. That's not going to change in the foreseeable future. But I think the types of game experiences you can get on the Switch will be different than what you can get on a smartphone. The power of it and the types of games will, I hope, bring a renewed interest in portable gaming. That's what I hope.
He ends the interview by admitting that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is his most anticipated release of the year:
It's on the top of my list for 2017 as one of the games I'm looking forward to the most. I've played every single Zelda since the first one. And having completed all of them, even if I forget about my job, just as a gamer, from what I've seen and what I've played, I can't wait to get my hands on it.
EA has made bold comments about Nintendo consoles in the past, of course - but do you think we could see the publisher rekindle its partnership with Nintendo with this new platform? Or, as was the case with the Wii U, will we see support fall away as the months roll by? Let us know with a comment.