Hot on the heels of news that All-Star Fruit Racing is getting a July release date, Italian developer 3DClouds also released a statement regarding the lack of online multiplayer for the Switch port. The fan response was, to say the least, fairly negative so the studio has taken to Reddit in a lengthy post that explains that the use of Unreal Engine 4 and budget constraints forced it to make a decision regarding the mode:
"Hey guys, we have clarified the situation on Facebook and will do the same here: We apologize for our previous replies, they told only pieces of the story, let us explain fairly and thoroughly why we came to this decision: We launched our game on Early Access on Steam without multiplayer mode (the game is still in EA) because we are a small team, this is our first game developed, and we didn't knew whether PC players would like to have this mode or not. Soon we found out that everyone was asking for it but we needed time to implement this mode which is not as "simple" to develop as all the other ones.
We hired a qualified developer to make it and everyone got satisfied. Since the game was positive reviewed by players and press we decide to look for a publisher (PQube) in order to port it to the consoles. We wanted to bring the game to XOne and PS4 as is (including multiplayer because Unreal Engine 4 already give us tools to develop it for these platforms), but not on Switch because we thought we had no chances against Mario Kart (and surely it still will be so). What happened at Gamescom 2017 changed our plans because we let everyone play on Steam on local 4 players Split Screen and each and every person passing by asked us "It will be available for Switch?" and so we decided that could be a great idea to port the game also on Switch. Arrived at this point we needed to take a decision.
There are no games supporting online on Switch that run on Unreal Engine 4 -please correct us if we are wrong- (Rocket League does but it uses the previous UE version, they have their own online architecture and a budget that we can only dream about) so what should we do: spend a lot of time and money trying to create the online mode from the scratch knowing that noone has done it before and knowing that we would need to ask continuos support to Epic (which is not garanteed since we are not Bethesda, for instance) or release the game without the online section and do this investment only and only if we are sure that time and money spent were worth spending? We do deeply apologies again for having created this mess, it wasn't in our intentions to treat Nintendo players as a "b-series" category, on the contrary we will still work on Switch on our next titles. Please share your opinions and, why not, please give us advices to develop the game for Switch in the best possible way."
So what do you make of 3DClouds' response to the fan outcry at the lack of online multiplayer? Is it a sensible call or a slap in the face for Switch owners? Let's get the conversation going in the comments below...