Saber Interactive has said that its upcoming release Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn will be given away fro free on Nintendo Switch.
The reason? The company's recent release NBA Playgrounds launched on Nintendo's machine without online play.
The omission was particularly painful for gamers after Saber boss Matthew Karch had told Polygon that launching without online would be half-assed” and that he wouldn't want to release the game without an online component”. Karch later said that he was unaware that the Switch iteration of the game would do just that.
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn was originally crowdfunded in 2014 for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. The original Shaq Fu, which placed basketball great Shaquille O'Neal into the middle of a fighting game, launched for the Mega Drive and SNES in 1994. This new game is now due out at an unspecified point on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
We're a small team and we've worked hard to deliver the best bang for buck we possibly could with NBA Playgrounds. We took arcade 2v2 basketball back from the dead and we crammed as much fun into a $20 game as humanly possible,” Karch has now said.
We're committed to making the game better and better. And we're already working on the next round of feedback. But for our Switch players, still awaiting online play – and believe us, it's coming soon – we can do more.
It's good to be independent because no one sense checks our crazy when we look to reward a portion of our supportive, patient playerbase with something truly insane, like a free game.
We are still working with our partners to determine exactly how NBA Playgrounds players will receive their free copy of Shaq Fu when it releases this Fall, but if you bought or buy in to NBA Playgrounds before the patch hits, you're getting a free copy of Shaq Fu.”
Mr O'Neal, incidentally, recently had to deny that he's a Flat Earther after having previously said that the planet looks pretty flat to him. Which technically is true, we guess.