#44: Why Switch Won’t Get Sims

TODAY: New VR shooter from the busy bees behind Apex Legends – a free Unity remake of the biggest Elder Scrolls game of them all – Fortnite World Cup is the biggest eSports event ever … outside China

Top Story

EA doesn’t think Switch owners would want The Sims

Few games can beat The Sims’ mass-market appeal. It’s a little everyday-life simulator, and the reason it has endured and kept its popularity is its simplicity and relatability. It’s also been successful on pretty much every platform – except Nintendo Switch! Since Switch has such a broad appeal, it seems like a natural home for the series.

So why hasn’t it happened yet? According to publisher EA, because people don’t actually want The Sims on Switch. In a recent earnings call, EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson was asked directly why The Sims 4, in particular, was not available on Switch. He replied that putting games on other platforms was down to that platform’s community, and whether a game like The Sims fits the Switch’s community.

It’s a living

Wilson specifically noted two questions EA asks: “does the game really fit the profile of that platform in terms of the control or the community ecosystem?” and “do we think the community playing on that platform would appreciate the game to go there?” EA believes that most Switch owners also own another platform, such as PC, Xbox One, and PS4, and would prefer to play The Sims 4 on them instead.

This line of thinking could explain EA’s lacklustre Switch support – they simply don’t believe that consumers would choose to buy EA’s games on the Switch, despite all the evidence of other publishers’ success stories on the platform suggesting they would. CD Projekt are bringing The Witcher 3 to Switch this year, despite the technical limitations and the fact that everyone’s played the game elsewhere – so they clearly think there’s a market.

It will be interesting to see if EA will connect the same dots – and get over the burn from the Wii U – and start supporting the Switch.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

What was the last numbered Sims game to appear on a home Nintendo console?

  •  The Sims 1
  • The Sims 2
  • The Sims 3
  • The Sims 4

The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!

News Bits

LEGO Jurassic World finally arrives on Switch in September

LEGO Jurassic World was released on all platforms – including Wii U – in 2015, and will finally make an appearance on Switch too. All three DLC packs will be included, and like most Switch games, it will support handheld mode and be compatible with the new Switch Lite.

However, there’s a Brachiosaurus in the room: The sequel to Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom – has been released since then, and will be rather notable by its absence when LEGO Jurassic World Switch arrives in September.

Apex Legends and Star Wars developer’s next game will be a FPS… in VR

Titanfall developer Respawn have a lot on their plates right now. Not only do they have Apex Legends to build and support, they’re also putting the finishing touches Jedi Fallen Order – the first epic single-player Star Wars game in nine years on – which should release this year. They’ve apparently got another game coming too, and it’s a first-person action game… for virtual reality headsets. Whatever it is, this “new AAA first-person combat title” for VR will be revealed at Oculus Connect in September. Will it be a new Titanfall? Time will tell…

Daily Fact

The first Elder Scrolls game featured all the other games put together

When starting The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you’re immediately struck by the size of the map – it’s gigantic, and you can spend hundreds of hours combing it and still not see everything the world has to offer. However, the first game in the Elder Scrolls series, The Elder Scrolls I: Arena, was much bigger – boasting a play area that not only dwarfed Skyrim, it contained it too. All of it, the entire region. And Oblivion. And Morrowind…

Yes, rather startlingly, Arena featured the entire continent of Tamriel – including Skyrim, Morrowind, and Oblivion’s setting of the central Imperial Province. And more! Apart from the second game Daggerfall, Elder Scrolls I: Arena is bigger than every Elder Scrolls game put together. It wasn’t quite as detailed, of course, and a lot of it was randomly generated. Still, impressive stuff – and Daggerfall was even bigger!

Daily News

Pokemon Go has been downloaded over one billion times

Pokemon Go has become an absolute phenomenon since it was released in July 2016, and despite challengers such as Harry Potter Wizards Unite, Ghostbusters World, and perennial classic Going Outside In The Sunshine Without A Phone Glued To Your Hand (yeah right, granddad), its appeal is showing no sign of abating – quite the contrary!

In the latest Japanese advertisement, developer Niantic boasts that Pokemon Go has racked up an incredible 1 billion downloads around the world. While part of that figure is re-downloads, and it’s very unlikely that all of them are active players, it’s still an impressive achievement.

Gotta catch us all

What’s perhaps most surprising is that half of that billion downloads happened just a few weeks after the worldwide release in 2016, as Niantic reported in September that year that it had crossed the 500 million download mark. In other words, it took three years to double the audience from the initial userbase secured during the first few months on the market.

Pokemon Go doesn’t show any real signs of slowing down though, and Niantic keeps rolling out more content. Team Go Rocket and Shadow Pokemon – from the GameCube’s Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness – have just been added, and can invade your game at any time. If Niantic keep up this level of support, we’re sure Pokemon Go’s popularity will continue. Harry who?

The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall has been remade in Unity

A lot of Elder Scrolls fans got started with Skyrim or Oblivion, while really hardcore players may espouse the virtues of Morrowind and how it has so much more freedom than the most recent games. Yet those games are actually the third, fourth and fifth games in the series, which hails all the way back to 1994: The saga started in The Elder Scrolls I: Arena, and continued in 1996 with The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall.

Daggerfall is still the biggest game in the entire series by a considerable margin (62,394 square miles!) – but despite being free, it’s not really a very palatable game today. It looks and plays pretty janky, for starters. However, for the last few years developer Gavin “Interkarma” Clayton has been working on a Unity remake of Daggerfall – and now it’s finally available to download!

Name Thyself

You’ll need a copy of Daggerfall, but fortunately that’s been available for free for a while now – or you can buy an Elder Scrolls game from GOG , and then get the updated version for free. After that simply download and run the Unity version of Daggerfall, point it to the game’s install directory, and you’ll be able to play a version of the second Elder Scrolls game that plays a lot more like Skyrim – less janky, in other words.

WASD movement, single-click attacks and improved graphics featuring modern resolutions – Daggerfall Unity features loads of awesome improvements. If you want to enjoy a piece of Elder Scrolls history, or like retro games, now’s the perfect time to give the biggest Elder Scrolls game a go. There’s more polish still to come (this is only an alpha build), but it’s completely free and well worth trying out.

eSports Roundup

EA Announces $500,000 Apex Legends Preseason Invitational

EA have announced the first official Apex Legends tournament. The price pool is $500,000 and the event will take place in Krakow, Poland, from 13th to 15th of September. The Preseason Invitational will feature 80 teams, totalling 240 players overall, and will run in a bracketed format.

The announcement was accompanied by confirmation that other Apex Legends competitions – X Games Minneapolis and EXP Pro-Am Apex Legends Exhibition (LA) – will be considered a part of the Apex Legends Preseason. Chad Grenier, Design Director at Respawn Entertainment, commented on the upcoming event in a recent press release:

“Competition is in the DNA of Apex Legends and this competitive event will showcase the game at its highest-level…This Apex Legends Preseason Invitational advances our vision towards a robust competitive experience with the community at the center. We continue to explore all the entertaining ways both players and spectators can experience Apex Legends and look forward to bringing this event to life.”

Fortnite World Cup Smashes Concurrent Viewer Records

You have probably heard about the success of the Fortnite World Cup and its Solo and Duos Finals with a $30 million price pool. With over 19,000 attendees at the venue, the event also set concurrent viewers records on YouTube and Twitch, with 2.3 million concurrent viewers according to the Epic Games Fortnite Team.

That makes the Fortnite World Cup the most-watched competitive gaming event ever outside China, and definitely one for the history books. The solo winner was 16 year old, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, who won a whopping $3 million at the finals in New York. Prizes were also awarded to a duo team, a selection of “Creative Winners” and a couple of players in the Charity Pro-Am.

EVO – The World’s Biggest Fighting Game Tournament – This Weekend

EVO 2019, the world’s biggest fighting games tournament event, takes place this weekend between 2nd and 4th of August. Watch the best players duke it out on the world stage across nine fighting games: Soul Calibur VI, Under Night In-Birth, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Samurai Shodown, Mortal Kombat 11, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Tekken 7 and Super Smash Bros Ultimate. There’s a lot of money on the line for most of the games, with the prize pools reaching over $10,000 for some of the minor titles, all the way up to $50,000 for Street Fighter V and Smash Bros.

AnimeEVO takes place alongside EVO, and is a separate event in the same location that gives smaller games a chance on the big stage. AnimeEVO features a wide variety of games, and not just fighting games: Puyo Puyo Tetris and even Catherine’s versus mode. These games are not streamed on the usual EVO Twitch accounts, but you can find them very easily over at Smash.GG.

Weekly Giveaway

Lost Orbit: Terminal Velocity

We’ve got a fresh giveaway for you this week! Lost Orbit: Terminal Velocity is a game about trying to return home through the vastness of space – armed only with your wits and whatever equipment you can scavenge or improvise – and we’ve got a Steam code to give away every day this week to one lucky winner on our active reader list!

“LOST ORBIT centers around the exploration of space. Players take control of a lone astronaut who sets off on a dangerous journey to rejoin his civilization, armed with only an improvised set of equipment and a relentless spirit.

Without the help of his ship, Harrison will need to use the gravitational forces of planets to navigate and propel himself through space.

Set in a world rich with comedy and tragedy, LOST ORBIT is a game filled with risk, loneliness, wonder, and death.”

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

What was the last numbered Sims game to appear on a home Nintendo console?

Answer: The Sims 3!

You may remember that EA doesnít believe there’s an audience for The Sims 4 on Switch. This is clearly nonsense, but sadly also par for the course for EA, who haven’t released many games for Nintendo platforms recently. The last mainline Sims games to appear on Nintendo console was The Sims 3 – nine years ago.

The Sims 3 was a release on Wii, DS, and 3DS in 2010, but none of the expansions were ported. EA also tried to expand the brand with chibi spin-off MySims, but it didn’t really fare too well – and Nintendo’s always-problematic online services and lack of hard drives made DLC releases impossible. And that probably explains why Sims 4 isn’t coming to Switch…

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