EA’s Patrick Soderlund on bringing FIFA to Switch, future support, system can stand up to mobile, hyped for Zelda
EA executive vice president Patrick Soderlund stopped by the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 last week to announce FIFA for the big N’s new console. IGN caught up with him to talk about the publisher’s support a bit more in-depth.
Soderlund started out with the following:
“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.”
Soderlund next weighed in on the decision to begin EA’s support with FIFA. To that, he said that it’s EA’s “biggest brand” with a broad appeal.
“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.”
As for EA’s future Switch support, Soderlund said:
“… 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.”
IGN also asked if he thinks Switch could bring back interest in dedicated handheld gaming despite the dominance of mobile. Soderlund said in response:
“I think it can, I hope it will. 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.”
Last but not least, Soderlund said he’s most looking forward to playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Switch aside from FIFA:
“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.”