Lego City Undercover on Switch Has Only 35% of the Game on Retail Cartridge [UPDATE]


In a statement to Eurogamer, WB Games officially responded to reports of Lego City Undercover requiring an install, saying:

Players who purchase Lego City Undercover on Nintendo Switch at retail do not need to download the game to play.

Eurogamer itself suggest in their article that this may be only half true and only parts of the game will be playable without an install.


Early retail copies of the next-gen ports for Lego City Undercover have popped up online, and it’s revealing some unsettling details on the Nintendo Switch version.

The Switch version requires an internet connection, while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions do not. This is chiefly because WB Games decided to ship the 20GB game on an 8GB cartridge, forcing the user to download the other 13GB of data themselves.

To give you a good comparison, that’s almost as big as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. From what we’re seeing, WB Games is making anyone who pays 60$ for a four-year-old game to download 65% of the title because they didn’t print the game on a larger cartridge.

Not only is this incredibly inconvenient for Switch owners with inconsistent internet connections, it sets a dangerous precedent for the future of the console.

If publishers want to save a couple bucks, they can just not put a chunk of the game on the cartridge and make you download it. With the Switch itself only having about 29GB free to the user, that means if this became a trend, users would be forced to pick up a Micro SD card to be able to store all of their games that they own physically.

While there are factors such as publishing costs and licensing that may account for increased production costs on the Nintendo Switch, that simply is not an excuse to sell consumers 35% of a game to cut costs.

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Currently interning at Niche Gamer. I've been playing video games since I was three years old.

  1. Dale Frewaldt
    Dale Frewaldt
    March 27, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    “WB Games is forcing everyone who pays 60$ for a four-year-old game to download 65% of the title itself because they were too cheap to print the game on a larger cartridge.”

    I don’t like that this situation is happening, but this quote is pure speculation. Normally it doesn’t bother me if your articles feature a bit of speculative flair, but come on.

  2. Brandon Orselli
    Brandon Orselli
    March 27, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    It was a bit too speculative – I reworded some things. It wasn’t meant to be like that at all, apologies

  3. Valwin Mediaz
    Valwin Mediaz
    March 27, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Wow so this is the power of the Switch

  4. Neojames82
    March 28, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Probably not far from the truth though. WB Games are known to be big shitlords lately.

  5. Mr0303
    March 28, 2017 at 12:08 am

    That’s pretty shitty of them. I didn’t realise that the cartridges were of varying sizes. This could indeed mean that devs will follow this example to save money on the larger capacity one.

  6. Himegami Aisa
    Himegami Aisa
    March 28, 2017 at 12:15 am

    “A-at least you won’t need to buy an SD card if you buy physical!” —All the apologists for the Switch’s pitiful internal storage a few months ago

  7. sanic
    March 28, 2017 at 12:18 am

    So the packaging very clearly discloses this righttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

  8. Heresy Hammer
    Heresy Hammer
    March 28, 2017 at 12:26 am

    If its WB games
    Warn A Brother

  9. Pilebunker
    March 28, 2017 at 12:36 am

    As a person who doesn’t have access to a good internet for months on end due, that’s really a really anti-consumer thing to do. This takes on disc DLC to a whole new level. I would say “At least you’re not paying for it” but if you let these people take a step in that direction. They certainly would make you pay for that other 50+% of the content. And people would defend them too.

  10. OldPalpy
    March 28, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Remember when people were blowing loads over the Switch bringing back “cartridges”?

  11. Guest
    March 28, 2017 at 12:39 am

    This is definitely one of those things where Nintendo needs to put their foot down, there should be some sort of compliance for things like this. Likely they just allow for the use of smaller carts to save cash if they don’t need the larger one. Fucking hell, what a cheap move.

  12. Shiggy Diggy Doo
    Shiggy Diggy Doo
    March 28, 2017 at 12:44 am


  13. TT
    March 28, 2017 at 1:00 am

    >sell consumers 35% of a game to cut costs
    what an age we live in

  14. Dr. Roswell. W
    Dr. Roswell. W
    March 28, 2017 at 1:26 am

    Just think,

    There are people in this world who will not only defend this shit but justify it.

  15. Rob Simple
    Rob Simple
    March 28, 2017 at 1:38 am

    This was my first thought, but Nintendo’s problem for four generations now has been poor third-party support, so publishers might use this fact as leverage against them to say ‘if you want our games, you play by our rules’.

    As usual, it’s the consumer who’ll get fucked either way.

  16. Rob Simple
    Rob Simple
    March 28, 2017 at 1:40 am

    I could barely get my WiiU to maintain a stable connection, nevermind download at a decent pace. This sets a worrying precedent.

    (inb4 ‘buy the ethernet adapter’ lol fuck off, I’m not shelling out an extra forty dollarydoos for something every other console has had standard for at least two generations.)

  17. GmailIsDown
    March 28, 2017 at 1:41 am

    What WB has done is completely justifiable because of Nintendo’s ridiculous prices on bigger cartridges. /troll

  18. Kain Yusanagi
    Kain Yusanagi
    March 28, 2017 at 1:47 am

    The problem is, honestly, that they’ve gone with the shittiest possible cartridge setup, rather than using naturally larger carts that cost less (less miniaturization and very high quality/tolerances costs).

  19. SuuLoliBoob
    March 28, 2017 at 2:00 am

    Jesus fucking Christ. The only redeeming news in this is that it’s a Lego game!

  20. SuuLoliBoob
    March 28, 2017 at 2:06 am

    To be fair, Cartridges are much more better then disks (both in the sense of reading the data faster, and also cheaper)

    Also, don’t act like other consoles don’t have this kind of problem either. This wouldn’t be the first a game company has tried this (Anyone remember simcity and diablo 3?)

  21. menschmaschine
    March 28, 2017 at 2:09 am

    The Ethernet to USB adapters you can used for the Switch can be generics not even meant for the Switch or even a Nintendo console.
    I’m using one that was meant for the original Wii and it works just fine. It’s shit that the system doesn’t have the port but you spend an extra $10 to get it, not $40.

  22. machariel00
    March 28, 2017 at 2:21 am

    Perhaps not to that extent (except maybe Destiny?) but that’s pretty much the standard.

  23. Himegami Aisa
    Himegami Aisa
    March 28, 2017 at 2:28 am

    Devs will definitely pull this shit if they can. NISA made the Japanese dub for DR:AE DLC to cut costs.

  24. Joe
    March 28, 2017 at 2:44 am

    There’s something poetic about Nintendo users being screwed by their own system’s high cartridge prices and lack of internal storage after they mocked the Vita’s memory card prices for so very long.

  25. Joe
    March 28, 2017 at 2:51 am

    Maybe if the Switch didn’t need to fit the guts of a console inside there for upscaling an image in docked mode, it would have had room for larger cartridges. But this is just another example of why the Switch tries to do too much in too little space and fails at being both a handheld and a console.

  26. Joe
    March 28, 2017 at 2:54 am

    Cheaper? Heck no. Cartridges are vastly more expensive than disks, at least in the eyes of penny pinching publishers. That’s why 3rd party publishers abandoned the N64 en masse in favour of PS1. That’s why Sony dominates the market today. People (including apparently Nintendo) don’t know their own history.

  27. DrearierSpider
    March 28, 2017 at 3:50 am

    Travis has some splaining to do, if he can dislodge Reggie’s cock from his mouth that is.

  28. DrearierSpider
    March 28, 2017 at 3:51 am

    Nintendo Seal of 35% Quality

  29. DrearierSpider
    March 28, 2017 at 3:56 am

    It’s not quite the same as N64. Those cartridges had a full fledged PCB and circuit board, whereas the Switch uses some sort of flash storage, similar to SD cards or flash drives. It’s still much more expensive than discs, but not nearly to the same degree.

  30. No_Good_Names_Ever
    March 28, 2017 at 4:14 am

    Pretty much everything under Time Warner is dog shit these days.

  31. SevTheBear
    March 28, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Each time I hear about the Switch, it’s bad news xD

  32. 2501
    March 28, 2017 at 5:40 am

    Oh boy, why do i get the feeling this will likely be a common practice with third party games on Switch?

  33. catazxy
    March 28, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Do we know the prices?

  34. Zack Attack
    Zack Attack
    March 28, 2017 at 6:20 am

    As a Switch owner, this is ultimately bullshit and if anyone buys to this on the Switch physical, they are a Nintendo fan boy. I probably will play the Wii U or the PS4 version when it goes on sale. I hope to god that Blazblue, Sonic Forces, and the Senran Kagura games on Switch won’t be like this or else that would ruin the third party support for me on Switch.

  35. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    March 28, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Talk about cheaping out, I’m sure shipping larger capacity carts would be nothing to Warner Bros. There goes the main advantage to the Switch using cartridges then, this is worse than the mandatory installs on PS4/XB1.

  36. Dewey Defeats Truman
    Dewey Defeats Truman
    March 28, 2017 at 6:29 am

    That’s fucking disgusting.

  37. Rob Simple
    Rob Simple
    March 28, 2017 at 6:30 am

    The price isn’t an issue as much as the principle: I refuse to spend money on peripherals to access a feature that should come standard on a console in Current Year+2.

  38. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    March 28, 2017 at 6:30 am

    I want the days of gen 4-6 back.

  39. Zack Attack
    Zack Attack
    March 28, 2017 at 6:31 am

    And those said people are fucking idiots, I enjoy the Switch, but this game went to a no buy for a very long time until I can get it for the PS4 for very cheap or the Nintendo Selects version on Wii U. Fuck you WB, honestly if this shit is what they are going to pull on their switch games, I am boycotting them big time. The last WB game I got excited for, Batman Arkham Knight on PS4, was average at best.

  40. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    March 28, 2017 at 6:34 am

    There are people who will defend any bad news to protect their favourite plastic box. SAD!

  41. Zack Attack
    Zack Attack
    March 28, 2017 at 6:56 am

    I miss the Gamecube days :'(

  42. Llama
    March 28, 2017 at 7:02 am

    Go back uncle

  43. Zaelle
    March 28, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Implying anyone with taste would buy LEGO City Undercover.

  44. Kain Yusanagi
    Kain Yusanagi
    March 28, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Even with the upscaling bit, they’re using tiny fucking carts the same size as Vita carts. They aren’t even as big as 3DS, DS, or even GBA ROM carts. Hell, they could have even made them as big as Wonderswan ROM carts.

  45. Kain Yusanagi
    Kain Yusanagi
    March 28, 2017 at 7:56 am

    I want the glory days of the PS2 back.

  46. Kain Yusanagi
    Kain Yusanagi
    March 28, 2017 at 7:58 am

    SD cards are cheaper than discs comparing storage capacity, actually.

  47. CrusaderEsper
    March 28, 2017 at 8:44 am

    I know Nintendo would argue otherwise, but the Switch isn’t a console, it’s a handheld that can plug into a dock to play on a television.

  48. garethWill
    March 28, 2017 at 9:09 am

    WB conning people yet again

  49. Gamegodtre
    March 28, 2017 at 9:49 am

    im willing to bet itll just be a paper download slip and tht the switch version was compressed down to 13gigs from the 20 n there will be no actual cartridge

  50. Gamegodtre
    March 28, 2017 at 9:51 am

    blurays cost ruffly at the lowest shipment run about 2.5 dollars n apperently the switch carts cost 10 bucks for the 32 gig ones n bluray holds what 40 gigs?

  51. Gamegodtre
    March 28, 2017 at 9:54 am

    blurays cost for video media ala movies in a shipment run of 2000 2.50 a disc and this drops down if u order in bulk. the switchs comparable 32 gig card cost if what i heard is true from other sites 10 dollars

  52. Dale Frewaldt
    Dale Frewaldt
    March 28, 2017 at 9:56 am

    The changes are better. And I do agree that it’s shitty what’s happening here. But it’s not really a precedent, even with the Switch so far.

    Based on the costs of ROM chips vs. disc based storage mediums, a game with a few million copies printed would easily cost millions more in publishing costs for a cartridge based system. WB might be cutting costs, and it’s worth having the discussion about it, but the game is 20Gb. They’re using the 8Gb cartridge, which represents the absolute minimum cost to production for them, and probably allows them to price the game the same as the PS4 & Xbox One versions.

    WB would have to purchase 32Gb carts to release the game on a single cartridge, and if that were the case, I doubt they could conceivably launch the game without charging more.

    The benefits to a cartridge based console are just too cost prohibitive, and that’s the crux of the problem, either with this, or with RIME’s pricing.

  53. wavemotioncannon
    March 28, 2017 at 9:58 am

    … but why even release it then.

  54. wavemotioncannon
    March 28, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Retro gaming is always there for you my friend.
    The backlog is as big as you want it to be.

  55. chaoguy
    March 28, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Look at the Arkham sequels/prequel. If they can save money- they will. Cut content as DLC, hire cheaper devs, etc.etc.
    Warner Bros is not a respected in the video games industry.

    That being said, the original Lego City on WiiU was surprisingly good.

  56. Ruggarell
    March 28, 2017 at 10:31 am

    This will be a common problem among switch games so get used to it LMAO.

    I don’t feel sorry for switch owners seeing as they eat up every piece of shit Nintendo throws at them anyway. Just like those people who bought a wii u.

  57. Kiryu
    March 28, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Karma is a bitch.

  58. Kiryu
    March 28, 2017 at 10:40 am

    And one of these people is here on this site.

  59. totenglocke
    March 28, 2017 at 10:42 am

    And the Switch version apparently has zero graphical improvements from the Wii U version.

  60. totenglocke
    March 28, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I’ll gladly rebuy Wii U games on Switch if there are enough improvements, but this adds no graphical improvements, is $10 more, and you have to download most of the game. No way am I rebuying this one.

  61. Nagato
    March 28, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Shouldn’t be too diffcult; it’s probably still covered in grease from his time at Pizza Hut.

  62. RandomDev
    March 28, 2017 at 11:12 am

    WB are retards.

  63. MistaC87
    March 28, 2017 at 11:15 am

    I’ve tried to justify to myself that this 13GB could be because of updates that may happen, but no matter what, this is bogus. This remaster is going to flop bigger than E.T., and that’s not good for the Switch. Nor are the higher prices. If we’re going to pay 60 bucks for this, then WB should include a complementary SD card for making us have to download all of this bogus data. Also, no one is going to buy a physical copy and wait to play the game for hours or longer. That’s just bullshit.

  64. Denvy
    March 28, 2017 at 11:20 am

    It’s either this or an likely an extra $10 to buy. Either way, people will complain. Maybe just skip a Switch release?

  65. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    March 28, 2017 at 11:24 am

    >While the PS4 and Xbox One versions do not

    What are you talking about? Everything on Xbox needs to be installed. This is why your one terabyte of memory tends to go pretty quickly. I’m not sure about PS4, but I assume it’s the same way.

    Anyway, yeah. WB is trying to save a few bucks by using a smaller cart. Publishers DESPERATELY want to go digital only to save on manufacturing costs, this is nothing new.

  66. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    March 28, 2017 at 11:25 am

    It wouldn’t be. They are just being cheap.

    >This is worse than the mandatory installs on PS4 or Xbox One!

    Lol. Those are for pretty much every game.

  67. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    March 28, 2017 at 11:26 am

    It’s common practice among all platforms. I’m not sure why people aren’t acknowledging this.

  68. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    March 28, 2017 at 11:27 am

    The cartridge prices aren’t high, WB is just cheap.

  69. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    March 28, 2017 at 11:30 am

    No, Rime is more expensive because the developers outsourced the Switch version to another studio.

  70. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    March 28, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Sony, dominating the market? Ho ho ho ho.

  71. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    March 28, 2017 at 11:32 am

    I won’t, because I’m not buying this piece of shit.

  72. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    March 28, 2017 at 11:36 am

    It’s interesting to see people try to blame Nintendo for this, when it’s pretty blatantly Warner Brothers fault.

    There is nothing stopping them from using a higher storage cart.

    This ‘solution’ is laughable and really shows just how desperate third parties are to save a couple of dollars.

  73. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    March 28, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I never suggested that they weren’t. I’m just saying the practice of only including about 1/3rd of a game on the cartridge/disc is worse than the practice of having to install the entire game to a hard drive.

  74. Himegami Aisa
    Himegami Aisa
    March 28, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Tell me how well the Wii U sold again, Travis. The PS3 is the only console of theirs that wasn’t dominant and it made up the sales figures in the end anyway.

  75. Travis Touchdown
    Travis Touchdown
    March 28, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    PS3 did so poorly it destroyed all the profits they made on PS2 and PS1.

    Keep trying to pretend it was a ‘success.’ It simply isn’t true.

  76. tbb033
    March 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Reminds me of when bad companies like Acclaim would take stuff out of SNES versions that they left in the same game on Genesis, claiming it was because Nintendo’s license fee was higher so it was use a smaller rom cart or charge $10 more on SNES. Well, now you get both the $10 and the leaving out of content. Hooray.

  77. tetrisdork
    March 28, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Mandatory install on PS4.

  78. tetrisdork
    March 28, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Samurai Jack on Adult Swim has been pretty good. Then again, they got the show’s creator back for it.

  79. DrearierSpider
    March 28, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Nintendo was still perfectly willing to slap their “seal of quality” on it.

  80. Kain Yusanagi
    Kain Yusanagi
    March 28, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    For a movie-quality blu-ray, that is, not some budget blu-ray disc pressed in some shady Taiwanese factory that isn’t to spec and has no QC, is going to cost more than that. Costs for blu-ray pressing have gone down significantly as the technology has been picked up and spread more, certainly, but that still pales in comparison to a proper ROM chip, which not only costs significantly less per chip but also is a hell of a lot more stable and safe (data safety, not physical safety) a media to use. While it may cost more to use a smaller area process, you can get significantly more dies cast per wafer, which in turn accounts for savings against the chip, rather than extra costs. Hell, even a 32 GB stick of Flash is about 50 cents cheaper than the price you quoted, and that’s just the spot price ( http://www.dramexchange.com/#memory ). Getting a large run is way cheaper than that (as I noted above). Nintendo right now is shitting all over us with these prices, and it stinks to high heaven.

  81. sanic
    March 28, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    “this quote is pure speculation”

    Can you list 3 other reasons this situation would occur based in reality? It sure seems like the reason is being cheap.

  82. NuclearKangaroo
    March 28, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    “cartridges are a good idea”

    literally nobody post 1997

  83. NuclearKangaroo
    March 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    while WB is far from blameless, you cant really expect me to believe cartridges were a good idea for the switch, this shit wouldnt fly on a normal console

  84. Himegami Aisa
    Himegami Aisa
    March 28, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Lmao, the two most successful home consoles’ profits were wiped out because the PS3 “only” sold 80m units. Face it, literally every console apart from the Wii was a flop for Nintendo by those standards. Or maybe Sony just made it all up in this case too?

  85. Himegami Aisa
    Himegami Aisa
    March 28, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Apples and oranges. Blu-ray has been around for a decade and there are hundreds of millions made every year. $2.50 a pop *is* for movie quality with proper QC, not cheapo shit. Nintendo’s proprietary cartridges are limited to the Switch and have been manufactured commercially for a matter of months. The economy of scale alone dictates that their cartridges be more expensive than an SD card, and that doesn’t take into account things like read speed and the fact that SD cards have been around for over 15 years.

  86. Kain Yusanagi
    Kain Yusanagi
    March 28, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    And ROM chips have been around for decades, plural. Nintendo’s proprietary carts don’t change the basic form of wafers and die cast circuitry, which is explicitly designed such to be able to change on the fly depending on the needs of the customer. The only real ‘issue’ there is the plastic cart casing, but that’s pennies- more than made up for in cost differentials between the two formats. Economy of scale actually dictates they’d be cheaper, which holds up, as I showed. As for read speed, Flash Memory has been faster than Blu-Ray since before it ever showed up. There’s a reason that the playstation port of Final Fantasy VI is shit- because it couldn’t match the read speed of the ROM chips from the SNES and had to impliment loading screens and loading time between initiating battle and finishing battle. That overwhelming speed advantage has remained with ROM chips from the start. PS4 Blu-Ray read speed (it’s a 3x) is only 27 MB/s. Even when it was initially released in 2006, SDHC had a specification that enabled it to transmit up to 25 MB/s. By the time 2009 rolled around and SDXC came out, it had increased to 100 MB/s. By 2011, it was already up to 312 MB/s. Just earlier this year, in February, it had doubled to 624 MB/s, matching SATA III hard drives.

    The problem is not in the tech, nor in the cost, because both of them are lower than Blu-ray. The problem lies within Nintendo, somewhere. And I still disagree that that measure of 2.50/disc is accurate to movie quality. Are you also including the cost of pressing the master in that factor, or are you just talking duplications?

  87. BubbaHoTep
    March 29, 2017 at 12:13 am

    I doubt it wiped the PS1’s/PS2’s profits, but the PS3 did cost Sony a large amount of money. The cost of developing the Cell processor was an estimated $400 million on it’s own and the cost of a PS3 was $840.35, while they were sold for only $599. Software sales were intended to make up for it, but it was 4 years before they stopped losing money on each system sold.

    Then there were the groups buying up large amounts of PS3s because the Cell CPU was good a making a cheap supercomputer, but not buying any games (this is the reason Sony eventually patched out Linux support). The PSN also cost them a lot of money, which is why it’s now a paid service on PS4.

    In the first three years the PS3 cost Sony over $4 billion and that number grew to potentially $5-6 billion by 2013. In the end I’m not sure if the Ps3 ever turned much of a profit for Sony, despite eventually outselling the 360.

  88. Rob Simple
    Rob Simple
    March 29, 2017 at 12:25 am

    You won’t get an argument from me there, but when the dock is retailing at $90 already, trying to stiff consumers an extra forty just to make the internet stable is a mile out.

    It also doesn’t explain the lack of ethernet port on the WiiU.

  89. BubbaHoTep
    March 29, 2017 at 12:51 am

    WB is a pretty terrible publisher, just ask PC users about the infamous Arkham Knight port, or Mortal Kombat X’s poor launch and them almost killing DLC support, or Injustice 2 PC being completely up in the air.

    If this happens with more devs and publishers then it’d be worrisome, but right now I’d chalk it up to WB just being garbage.

  90. SiliconNooB
    March 29, 2017 at 6:51 am

    smh this is supposed to be a portable system!!!

    Nintendo are bloody fools for allowing this!

  91. No_Good_Names_Ever
    March 29, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Adult Swim is the only one but they don’t make much of anything but at least they don’t have to worry about fighting with its brothers and sisters.

  92. Mayor of Kekitopia.
    Mayor of Kekitopia.
    March 31, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Why do i feel like I purchased another Wii U under an new name….