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

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.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • maxiim
    Treat your customers better, and make decent games, not make demands of consoles, garbage EA.
  • jrharbort
    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.
  • bustapr
    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.
  • purrcatian
    I hope they start giving the Windows PC the attention it deserves.
  • cheesyboy
    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).
  • excella1221
    @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.
  • d_kuhn
    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.
  • gigantor21
    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.
  • amoralman
    Trolling ahead : If EA could just stop making games for any consoles I'd be happy.
  • Bloob
    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.