May 19, 2013
EA Currently Not Developing Games For Nintendo Wii U
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Just two years after committing to create content for the Wii U, an Electronic Arts (EA) spokesman has confirmed that the company currently has “no games in development” for Nintendo´s current home video game console.
Those comments were made by EA´s Jeff Brown during an interview with Kotaku´s Stephen Totilo on Wednesday, and represent a drastic change in stance from a company that stood on stage, side-by-side with Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata and promised to deliver “great EA content” for the Wii U during the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
“EA delivered for Wii U early, releasing Wii U versions of Mass Effect 3, Need For Speed Most Wanted, Madden and FIFA for the new console,” Totilo explained. “Each of those games had been released months earlier on rival Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms. While they ran well, they were, ultimately, late ports.”
Dead Space 3, EA´s top console title of the year thus far, was not released on Wii U, he said.
“The full absence of Wii U games from Nintendo's pipeline seemed increasingly likely as the Wii U remained conspicuously absent from announcements regarding major 2013 EA games such as Battlefield 4 and the new Madden and FIFA,” the Kotaku reporter added. “A lack of EA support will prevent Wii U gamers from having access to an NFL game, for which EA holds the exclusive license.”
Slow sales for the gaming system may have played a role in EA´s decision, according to Matthew Shaer of the Christian Science Monitor. While Nintendo had hoped to sell over four million Wii U systems over the past fiscal year, they came up 0.5 million units short, and some analysts say that the system sold only 55,000 units in April, he added.
Brown has said that the company is not ruling out returning to Wii U development sometime in the future, it comes as little consolation to Nintendo right now, Shear said.
“Nintendo can't be happy,” he explained. “A console is only as good as its games, and if the Wii U is to succeed, it should have a wide variety of titles, including games such as the best-selling Madden franchise, which EA produces.”
In other Nintendo news, Forbes contributor Dave Thier reports that the company will be appealing to the public and not just the gaming media at this year´s E3 conference. While the annual event is typically used by gaming companies to introduce upcoming products to industry journalists, the 3DS and Wii U producers will be allowing regular gamers to play unreleased titles at Best Buy locations during the 2013 event.
“It´s a wonderful service for regular gamers, and a clever subversion of the gaming media as it stands today,” Their said. “Essentially, Nintendo is saying that any customer in the country is just as important as a professional games journalist. When the idea of ℠Public Relations´ can sometimes just mean ℠talking to reporters,´ this is an interesting way for a company to control its own story and interact with customers on its own terms.”