EA retracts Wii U snub, says it's brewing Nintendo games on the backburner
Just when you thought software makers were backing away from Nintendo’s Wii U, a gaming exec appeared to throw the struggling console a bone on Tuesday. It looks like Electronic Arts may be building a game or two for Wii U after all, despite earlier comments from a company spokesperson who said no Wii U games from EA were in the works.
“We are building titles for the Nintendo console,” said EA CFO Blake Jorgensen during the Stifel Nicolaus 2013 Internet, Media, and Communications Conference. “But not anywhere near as many as we are for PS and Xbox.”
EA was not available for comment at the time of this writing, but we will update this article once the company responds.
Setting aside Jorgensen’s comments for just one second, there’s every indication that EA is serious about the PlayStation and the Xbox getting the bulk of its attention, while the Wii U gets short shrift.
EA’s new gaming engine Frostbite 3 won’t be making an appearance on the Wii U. The company is not bringing top titles to the Wii U that have made previous appearances on Nintendo hardware, such as the Madden and FIFA franchises. And Jeff Brown, EA’s vice president of communications, told Kotakuflat out last Thursday that, “We have no games in development for the Wii U currently.”
Then there’s Tuesday’s blog post from EA COO Peter Moore where he extolls a “new era in gaming history” and not one word is mentioned about Nintendo. Sure, the Wii U lags behind the technology in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, so it would be fair for Moore to ignore Nintendo in this case—but there seems to be a lot more going on here. EA is excited about the possibilities in gaming the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 will afford. As for the Wii U? Been there, done that.
EA will also have its hands full developing games for the new consoles as well as continuing to support the Xbox 360 and PS3 for the foreseeable future. Jorgensen, during his talk on Tuesday, said EA would continue to support the Microsoft and Sony third-generation consoles “for another three to four years at least, if not longer.” If that wasn’t enough, EA is also busy releasing titles for Android and iOS devices, large gaming markets that are only getting bigger.
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But then there’s that pesky comment from Jorgensen who says EA is "building titles for Nintendo’s console." Not that EA was building, or will build, specifically new games.
While excitement is building for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Nintendo is struggling to popularize the Wii U. During its fiscal year for 2012, Nintendo sold fewer Wii U consoles than the original Wii, a nearly seven year-old box. Even the 3DS handheld is more popular than the Wii U.
Whatever’s going on with EA and the Wii U, we should learn everything we need to know about EA’s plans during the company’s press conference at E3 on June 10 at 1 p.m. Pacific/4 p.m. Eastern. EA is promising new footage from EA Sports games, Battlefield 4, Need for Speed, as well as something the company is working on with Disney. The new Star Wars game, mayhaps?