As you might have probably seen from news online, EA is adopting very contradicting stances with regards to Nintendo, especially with the Wii U. Despite having announced unprecedented partnership with Nintendo some years ago, EA is now not taking interest in the Wii U.
The Frostbite 3 engine by EA was said to have been tested on the Wii U and had failed despite the fact that the weaker Xbox 360 and PS3 are able to run the engine.
Also earlier in an interview with Kotaku, a representative of the company had stated that “We have no games in development for the Wii U currently” . This was surprising when revealed as in 2011, former CEO of EA, John Riccitiello announced a partnership with Nintendo after the latter’s E3 presentation.
This news was followed by an outburst by Bob Summerwill, Senior Software Engineer and Architect at EA, who voiced outrageous and unprofessional comments on Twitter. Bob had been with EA (I don’t know what happened to him after this LOVELY behaviour) since 1999 and according to his Linkedin profile, had taken part in FIFA 11. In his comments he went as far to call Wii U as crap and that Nintendo should offer its franchises as Xbox One (Durango)/PS4 games!
Here are his tweets, which have now been removed from Twitter due to violation of rules. Thanks to IGN for these
We hope that senior management has not completely deteriorated to this level! EA has often cited poor sales of their launch titles on Wii U for not publishing more games but they do not mention that they have released inferior ports. FIFA 13 on Wii U was basically FIFA 12 with revamped menus and slight gameplay while Xbox 360 and PS3 got the actual 2013 game. This is a rumour but some people believe that EA has soured its relations with Nintendo when the latter refused to give EA the responsibility for the Wii U’s online network! They believe that refusal of usage of EA’s origin for Wii U’s online infrastructure started the sour of an “unprecedented” partnership!
EA did not comment on this fiasco at any point. As expected.
All news was not be negative though as a week after all this activity, during the Stifel Nicolaus 2013 Internet, Media and Communications Conference, Blake Jorgensen, the chief financial officer of EA said that EA in fact has games in development for the Wii U but not as many as the upcoming Sony Playstation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One. It might or might not be a coincidence that this announcement came right after Xbox One reveal on May 21st. Maybe they saw all the negative reaction towards the Microsoft console and decided to keep the Wii U open as a option.
When asked which console would top the 8th gen, he gave a weird statement:
“You know, I think Nintendo’s business was more (an) extension of their last console.
I think what the consumer will find is a lot more powerful gameplay with the new boxes that are coming out, and a lot of excitement, but it’ll remain to be seen as to the services associated with those as to how consumers decide which direction they might want to go.”
Now what does he mean by powerful gameplay? I actually think that the Wii U has more “powerful” gameplay than either of its competitors this generation with the Wii U gamepad packed with the console while the other consoles offer it as an alternative.
Now multiple EA titles have been released, but none of them are going to be published on the Wii U. FIFA 14 and Madden 25. Need For Speed: Rivals has also been announced for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC but not for the Wii U despite the fact that Need for Speed: Most Wanted by Criterion Games was one of the best ports on the Wii U that utilized its abilities to the maximum, looking and feeling much better than its X360 and PS3 counterparts!
Just recently, right before, EA has again changed its words (they can’t make up their mind, can they?). Frank Gibeau, the EA label president spoke to Polygon to clarify the situation! He stated that although EA considers the Wii U as 8th generation, they have no plans to release any games for the console this fall!
In his words:
” We have a good partnership with Nintendo. We released four games on the platform over the last year and we’re pretty proud of Need For Speed, and Madden, and FIFA and Mass Effect. We have guys that our looking at the Wii U in the studio system right now as an opportunity for the future, but we have no publicly announced Wii U games that we’re going to release this fall.”
Looks like EA is at it again hopping from one decision to another. Are they just cynical or confused? Or in another line of thought, just greedy?
What do you think? Let me know in the comments section