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Nintendo Switch’s FIFA game will be FIFA 18

Not a knock-off?

FIFA 17 corner kick
A corner kick in FIFA 17.
EA Vancouver/Electronic Arts
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

The FIFA game coming to Nintendo Switch this year will be called FIFA 18, according to EA executive Peter Moore.

Moore, EA’s chief competition officer, confirmed the title in an interview with Gamereactor. “It will be FIFA 18, and it will obviously be later this year when FIFA 18 comes out,” said Moore at an event in Paris this past weekend.

The title is perhaps not surprising, but it’s notable because it’s the first time EA has called the Switch game by that name. From the announcement last month until this point, the company had been referring to it as “EA Sports FIFA on Nintendo Switch,” a placeholder title that raised questions about the nature of the product.

EA has described the Switch version of FIFA 18 as being “custom built” for Nintendo’s new platform, so it’s safe to expect that the game will take advantage of the Switch’s unique hardware capabilities. And calling the game FIFA 18 as opposed to, say, “FIFA Soccer Switch” or “FIFA All-Play” suggests that it will offer a proper version of the simulation soccer franchise — not a watered-down experience.

Moore also dropped a couple of other bits of information that provide more clarity on the Switch version. He noted that it will be developed in-house at EA Vancouver, the home of the FIFA series. (EA has often hired third-party studios to make the aforementioned off-brand titles.) And from Moore’s comment that the Switch version will launch “when FIFA 18 comes out,” we can infer that it will launch in the franchise’s traditional September release window — another detail that hints at parity between FIFA 18 on Switch and its PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One brethren.

Of course, we’ll have to wait until EA shows off the Switch version of FIFA 18 to truly know how it matches up to its more established siblings. We still don’t know if there’s any truth to the rumor that the Switch version is running on last-generation technology, although Moore has indirectly denied it.

It’s also worth pointing out that EA has not committed to making any other sports games for the Switch beyond FIFA. Patrick Söderlund, executive vice president of EA’s worldwide studios, said the company will “be there once the platform launches and takes off,” which suggests EA s taking a wait-and-see approach. Note that FIFA and Madden were Wii U launch titles in 2012, but EA never released another sports title on the console because, as CEO Andrew Wilson put it, “sports gamers weren’t there.” It remains to be seen whether they’ll show up on the Switch.

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