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Shepard Commander, the galaxy needs you on Nintendo Switch


Ah, it seems like only yesterday that I went on a tyrannical rage over the fact that the Dragon Age trilogy is absent from Nintendo Switch. In that article, I explain why it makes no sense at all for Electronic Arts not to port it to Switch – it’s a guaranteed money maker. Well, today I’m taking a deeper look at something I couldn’t help but mention when discussing DA, and that’s Mass Effect.

Yes, the fact that the Mass Effect trilogy isn’t on Nintendo Switch is sacrilegious. It’s something that bothers me on a near daily basis. No, I’m not exaggerating. If you know how much I play those games, you’d understand why. Plus, Mass Effect 2 happens to be my favourite game of all time, and while I’d love to explain why, it’s not on Nintendo Switch and is therefore out of my jurisdiction. I’m only slightly bitter about that, can you tell?

Okay, let’s dive into what is perhaps the most obvious reason to put ME on Switch (besides the lovely revenue it’s bound to bring in). In 2021, players worldwide returned to the Normandy to join Commander Shepard once again on their quest to save the galaxy from the Reapers, thanks to the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, a remastered collection that features the first three games and all their DLC.

The game is on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, yet EA somehow feels that Switch players aren’t up to this hero malarkey, to which I say nuts to that! Just look at some of the games you can enjoy on Nintendo’s console. Skyrim and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt both come to mind, as not only do they feature expansive open worlds, but they’re longer than all three Mass Effect games combined. Yet, you can play them on Switch – both ports happen to be decent as well, I might add.

A reaper shooting a laser at the ground

So you see, while EA’s decision surrounding Dragon Age baffles me, the fact that there’s a remaster for the Mass Effect trilogy takes my feelings about DA and cranks them all the way up to 11. In essence, the American publisher is choosing to alienate a player base, there are plenty of Switch players that would love to see Shepard, Jack, Garrus, Grunt, Miranda, Tali, Liara, and the rest of the gang on Switch, and that’s not even mentioning those that are yet to play the games.

However, because I like to think I’m a fair individual, kind of like a Krogan, I’m going to put forward one reason that comes to mind for the chosen absence of the Mass Effect Legendary Edition on Switch, and that’s performance. Yes, I’ve already mentioned two huge games that run well, but I raise this issue purely because it’s the one thing I can think of for EA’s questionable decision.

Perhaps it’s a case of the company feeling as though permanence on Switch isn’t going to be up to par, and therefore hinders the experience it wants players to have. However, even if that’s the case (I doubt it, but bear with me), why not just put the original trilogy on Switch instead? At least that way, the platform has a version of what is arguably one of the greatest RPG trilogies ever made, and it’s certainly the best to fall under the sci-fi sub-genre.

Commander Shepard using her omnitool to fight a husk

EA has the chance to create an everybody wins situation, yet it continues to settle itself in the nobody benefits camp, a choice that both infuriates and baffles players worldwide, myself included. Let’s be honest, Electronic Arts doesn’t have a stellar reputation due to aggressive microtransactions that many view to be predatory (and rightfully so). However, this only adds to what’s already a perplexing situation, as the publisher loves money, something that the Mass Effect trilogy on Switch is sure to generate.

Honestly, I can’t help but think the company has some mystifying thoughts. Think about it, many people want Mass Effect on Switch, but despise microtransactions, so EA’s natural reaction is to elongate its games with the questionable revenue stream while ignoring what fans actually want.

Perhaps it’s because there are already plenty of projects in the works, including Mass Effect 4 and Dragon Age 4, so Switch ports aren’t a priority, though that seems to be a foolish choice, especially if we just consider the original games. Porting games from 2007, 2010, and 2012 to Switch isn’t particularly taxing in terms of the time it might take, particularly when you factor in the money Commander Shepard is sure to bring in.

No matter how hard I try to look at it from Electronic Arts’ point of view, I just draw the same conclusion – the publisher continues to make a disconcerting business decision to the detriment of fans of the legendary franchise. No matter how I try to spin it, be it time and resources or revenue potential not being reasonable (a ludicrous thought), it just results in another tally in the camp that supports a Switch version of the Mass Effect trilogy.

Mass Effect 2's Thane Krios stood in front of a window

Also, we know Mass Effect 4 is on the way. Granted, it’s bound not to see the light of day until 2024, but a Switch port of either the original trilogy or the Mass Effect Legendary Edition Collection can introduce new players to the series, which ultimately means more eyes on the next title. To me, this seems like a strong marketing technique. EA has the potential to reach a new demographic yet shows no interest in seeing what’s beyond the stars, so to speak.

On a personal level, for me, it’s a shame that one of my most beloved series, one that I can honestly say shaped me as a gamer, isn’t on one of my favourite platforms. I want to fight the reapers, help my squadmates, and save the galaxy wherever I go. The idea of getting that wonderful hit of nostalgia whenever wherever fills me with joy, yet the reality of the situation crushes that joy and replaces it with sadness.

I can’t help but think that all logic indicates a Switch version of the Mass Effect trilogy is a recipe for success, yet EA is as open-minded to the idea as The Illusive Man is to treating aliens as equals. Who knows, perhaps one day, the American publisher is going to wake up and smell the money. However, until then, it seems I must continue to torture myself with thoughts of what could be. Oh bugger it, I have to go and replay Mass Effect 2 right now. Thank god for my PlayStation.

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