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EA: We'll Return to Wii U if Nintendo Sells More Units

By - Source: Joystiq | B 28 comments

It just now registered that everything I saw at EA's booth during E3 2013 had nothing to do with Nintendo's Wii U console, not even Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare.

It's a little sad given that Nintendo has been around the gaming scene for so long, but it's also a sign of the company's current struggles in the market. Nintendo didn't have a press event during the show, and now it's facing heavy competition from the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this holiday season.

Is the Wii U possibly suffering the same fate as Sega's Dreamcast console? Nintendo has already publicly noted the lackluster sales, blaming the slow adoption rate on an even slower release schedule of AAA titles from Nintendo and third party publishers, and on the consumers themselves. Apparently customers think the Wii U is just an extension of the Wii console, and not a next generation platform (could be the name, just saying).

When asked about EA's lack of Wii U titles, Charlie Scibetta, Nintendo of America's head of corporate communications, said that the publisher is a great partner, and wants what Nintendo wants: for the install base to grow. Nintendo believes that this will happen thanks to some of the games it plans to release between now, the holiday season, and into early 2014. By then, the Wii U should look more "enticing" to third parties like EA.

"Look, the only thing they can do to fix it is to sell more boxes," said Electronic Arts Labels President Frank Gibeau. "We're a rational company, we go where the audience is. We publish games where we think we can make a great game and hit a big audience, and make money. That's why we're here, that's why we have an industry."

Both Nintendo and EA have acknowledged that the latter publisher has tried to sell games on the Wii U, but Gibeau added that currently it doesn't make financial sense. "The Wii U, we shipped four games," he said. "We shipped Madden, FIFA, Need for Speed and Mass Effect. In fact, the last Need for Speed shipped 60 days ago had a pretty good Metacritic. It was a good game. It wasn't a schlocky port, we actually put extra effort into getting everything to work. And it's just not selling because there's no boxes."

He went on to say that EA hasn't signed off on Nintendo, but for now it is focused on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC. "From our perspective we'll look at the Wii U, we'll continue to observe it. If it becomes a viable platform from an audience standpoint, we'll jump back in," he said.

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  • 0 Hide
    maxiim , June 24, 2013 12:18 AM
    Treat your customers better, and make decent games, not make demands of consoles, garbage EA.
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    jrharbort , June 24, 2013 12:36 AM
    And thus we have a serious conundrum. Game developers refuse to make games for the Wii because it hasn't sold enough consoles, and Nintendo can't sell enough consoles because game developers refuse to develop for it.
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    bustapr , June 24, 2013 1:02 AM
    you just cant judge a console by how well 2 late ports made. the mass effect they released was the third in a damn trilogy, how do they expect the Wii gamer to jump into the third game of a franchise they never got to play. and need for speed most wanted u was a remake of a game not a whole lot of people were fond of when it was on ps2.

    all I see is laziness instead of rationality. sit back and watch other publishers/developers try to make a console successful, then jump back in. if games arent being made for the console, then how exactly do they expect the console to sell more? for a company that swims in money, youd think they would take more risks or opportunities.
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    purrcatian , June 24, 2013 1:05 AM
    I hope they start giving the Windows PC the attention it deserves.
  • 0 Hide
    cheesyboy , June 24, 2013 1:09 AM
    Ahh. So now the truth comes out.

    Remember EA saying the Frostbite engine wouldn't work on Wii U? Lies.

    It's fair enough not bothering with a console if you don't expect to shift units. It does become self-fulfilling, though. Same thing happened with the Dreamcast (EA then, too), which was a shame as that could have been such a great console (it was fairly great anyway).
  • 1 Hide
    excella1221 , June 24, 2013 3:24 AM
    @purrcatian - I don't. I honestly want them and their Draconian shit to fuck off from gaming in general. Undoubtedly, they have really good titles, but IMO are not worth putting up with the crap they give us that come with them.
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    d_kuhn , June 24, 2013 4:45 AM
    The Wii is a casual gamers console... casual gamers are likely not going to be as quick to jump on each successive generation, why would they if the Wii already does everything they need? We know it's not about graphics and computing power for them... so adding graphics and computing power isn't necessarily going to do it. They REALLY need a title that will appeal to casual gamers enough to get their wallets open.
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    gigantor21 , June 24, 2013 6:28 AM
    Far be it from me to defend EA, but they do have a point this time.

    Nintendo went for the same strategy of pushing some new "disruption" in the Gamepad instead of competing on specs. They were expecting to have another Wii on their hands; even projected initial sales were in the same ballpark as the Wii's launch. Instead, as the article pointed out, there are people who don't even know the WiiU is a separate console, and think the Gamepad is just a Wii add-on. This despite the fact that the WiiU was first announced in 2011 and is the first next-gen console on the market. If that doesn't scream marketing faliure on Nintendo's part I don't know what does.

    So you have a device selling like crap, that is so underpowered compared to the next gen consoles that it's competing with current gen consoles with much bigger install bases as well. Even Nintendo isn't doing anything special with the Gamepad in most of it's upcoming titles. Why is any third-party publisher required to help turn the situation around? It's Nintendo's fault for not offering a compelling platform that people would want to buy--and devs could put their newest titles on--in the first place.

    At this point, it's looking like sticking with motion controls and putting out something slightly less powerful than the Xone would've been a much better bet. They could've just sold the Gamepad as a separate add-on for people who wanted off-TV play. It's on Nintendo to prove otherwise, and no one else.
  • 1 Hide
    amoralman , June 24, 2013 6:52 AM
    Trolling ahead : If EA could just stop making games for any consoles I'd be happy.
  • 0 Hide
    Bloob , June 24, 2013 7:23 AM
    Wii U suffered and suffers from lack of games, especially ones where the new gamepad is used well. I'll likely pick one up after the price of the Premium edition goes down a tad. Haven't played EA-games for quite a long while now, so I don't care about them.
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , June 24, 2013 7:36 AM
    Well, nitendo was never about big titles but fun games.
    Since i dont play consoles (PC gamer) i dont care at all about this, but since i Dont like EA, im somewhat happy for nintendo.
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    clikes2004 , June 24, 2013 7:52 AM
    These types of articles are getting annoying to me. I personally have a Wii U purely because I anticipate the typical Nintendo lineup. True, I only have one game so far. I played it to death and now my Wii U is collecting dust because the big N hasn't come out with anything since. When Nintendo comes out with their AAA titles, I'll bite. Nintendo won't suffer the Dreamcast's fate because of their huge fan base. Often times when a third party developer makes something for a console, I don't buy it on the console anyway. I buy it for the PC.
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    jscynder , June 24, 2013 8:35 AM
    It could also be that the WiiU specs are far behind the Previous generation let alone the current one.
  • 0 Hide
    usherfeat1 , June 24, 2013 10:45 AM
    my classmate's mom makes $76 every hour on the laptop. She has been unemployed for 7 months but last month her pay check was $20300 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site...www.rush64.ℂℴm
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    dudewitbow , June 24, 2013 11:07 AM
    @jscynder

    Specs only attract the higher graphic end gamer who isn't the majority in console sales. Historically, it hasnt been the stronger console that sold the best always. The Wii outsold the PS3 and 360, despite being weaker. The PS2 became the top selling console in history despite being weaker than both the Gamecube and the Xbox.
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    jdwii , June 24, 2013 12:27 PM
    I'm not buying anything EA anyways i even have to say i would say the same for others. i'm upset that EA has sims and ruined my sim city game.
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    belardo , June 24, 2013 1:32 PM
    EA sucks anyway. But the Wii-U is problematic. Unlike past Nintendo consoles, they looked nothing alike between the models. The Wii-U is a bit bigger version of the Wii. And yet its NOT a Wii. The touch-screen is a gimmick and its concepts are... confusing.

    Also, given the fact that the Wii-U is a $300 console that is on par with the 360/PS3, which are 8 year old-technology hurts big time. The PS3 is $250~300 console depending on its bundle (games / Move controller). You're getting more for your money. Wii-U = no hard-drive, can't play Blu-Ray, can't even play DVD discs! Its sub-standard to the PS3 which costs more money!

    The Wii-U graphics blows away the Wii... and for what it does, it should have come out 2 years ago with a standard Wii setup at a MSRP of $200 and use DVD-Discs and drive.

    Nintendo should get out of the hardware business.... they are unable to keep up and for that, their games will suffer. Imagine a Mario game on a PS4.... WOW.
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    belardo , June 24, 2013 1:36 PM
    EA sucks anyway. But the Wii-U is problematic. Unlike past Nintendo consoles, they looked nothing alike between the models. The Wii-U is a bit bigger version of the Wii. And yet its NOT a Wii. The touch-screen is a gimmick and its concepts are... confusing.

    Also, given the fact that the Wii-U is a $300 console that is on par with the 360/PS3, which are 8 year old-technology hurts big time. The PS3 is $250~300 console depending on its bundle (games / Move controller). You're getting more for your money. Wii-U = no hard-drive, can't play Blu-Ray, can't even play DVD discs! Its sub-standard to the PS3 which costs more money!

    The Wii-U graphics blows away the Wii... and for what it does, it should have come out 2 years ago with a standard Wii setup at a MSRP of $200 and use DVD-Discs and drive.

    Nintendo should get out of the hardware business.... they are unable to keep up and for that, their games will suffer. Imagine a Mario game on a PS4.... WOW.
  • 0 Hide
    Johmama , June 24, 2013 2:26 PM
    No, go ahead and stay off of Wii U, EA. In fact, if you really want to get your point across, you should stop publishing games on all platforms. That'll really teach us what's what.
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    koga73 , June 24, 2013 2:30 PM
    I have a Wii U and wouldn't buy any EA games even if they were offered (due to sim city bs they will never get me back as a customer).

    My real problem with the Wii U isn't even the lack of games but instead the lack of games utilizing the tablet. The tablet is AWESOME. I was very impressed at how well it was able to keep video in sync and how ergonomic it felt.

    The problem is only two tablets are supported instead of four... and currently there are no games that utilize both tablets. I'm so sick of using the wii-motes I just want to use the tablet for everything. The tablet should be the primary controller but it feels like wii-motes are still in control. Most games don't support the standard gamepad or tablet so your stuck with wii-motes.

    I think the whole idea of the Wii U tablet came from the idea of using a 3DS as a controller. I think this would have been way better than the tablets that require a Wii U console. IMO 3DS is the best console and has the best game. As for the comment that Nintendo should get out of the hardware business I completly disagree. The 3DS is a great example of amazing hardware that complements great software.
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