EA Insider Claims Wii U Was Dead to Company Shortly After Launch

Update: EA COO Peter Moore took to Twitter to say that one should not trust anonymous sources:

" Don’t trust 'anonymous sources.' Nintendo's a great partner. They never have been, and never will be, ‘dead’ to EA…"

The author of the CVG story, Rob Crossely, had a brief exchange with Moore, noting that the "anonymous source" was an "EA one."

Original Story: When Nintendo fans claim that EA has been engaged in a conspiracy to hurt the Wii U, there may be a dash of truth to it, if you believe this CVG report that taps a source inside EA.

The unnamed source claims that the Wii U was "dead to EA" shortly after it launched, calling it a "kids IP platform."

"Nintendo was dead to us very quickly," the EA source told CVG when asked about the publisher’s quick abandonment of the Wii U shortly after it launched.

"It became a kids IP platform and we don't really make games for kids, " the source added. "That was pretty true across the other labels too. Even the Mass Effect title on Wii U, which was a solid effort, could never do big business, and EA like Activision is only focused on games that can be big franchises."

While the publisher did release a few titles for the system at its launch (Mass Effect, Need For Speed, Madden), it would later decide not to release any games on the platform going forward. Big games like Madden, Battlefield, and a whole line-up of EA Sports titles were marked down as DOA (as Andrew Eisen's ongoing list of games – including many big EA titles – "not for Wii U"). Obviously a major publisher saying that it doesn't see a platform as viable hurts the platform and indicates to other publishers that there maybe be financial risks in developing AAA games for it.

The comments are part of a CVG feature called "Nintendo must reinvent itself."

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  1. 0
    lomdr says:

    PRetty much this.  I found the whole AC4 not having any DLC at all for the U version for NO reason to be pretty asinine.  Watch as Ubisoft blame poor sales on the U version because the U is not popular, not because they gave nintendo a lesser version

  2. 0
    lomdr says:

    I agree with the assertion that games are too expensive to make nowadays.  Especially with the death of the middleware games (Or as I call them B Games, much like B movies)  Nowadays it's pretty much you go AAA or you go home on the consoles, and both Nintendo and Sony realizes that it is a problem with their flexible indie support (Nintendo now after removing the asinine Office restriction).

    Also, to those that say Nintendo don't cater to adults:  How AREN'T they catering to adults?  If it's because of the artstyle of the first party games, I have a door to show you.

  3. 0
    Monte says:

    What you state applies to just about ANY popular franchise that has the console owner as its publisher. Microsoft and Sony also publish games on their own consoles and provide them first rate promotion. Games like Halo with Microsoft, or God of war with Sony; both are very popular franchises that get enormous support from the console owner because they are the publisher but that never stopped other publishers from trying to compete with those games. Third party developers compete with microsoft and Sony all the time. Nintendo would be no different

    Not to mention that third party publisher holds the advantage of not needing to be exclusive… any sales they don't get on Wii U can be made up by sales on the PS4 and Xbox One. Heck, the very fact that Wii U is not doing well would help them compete against those established franchises; they can help spread their new IP though the more popular and in more homes X box One and PS4; if those games get momentum on those consoles they'll get more popular and have a better chance of standing up against Nintendo's games.

    Really you also ignore that there HAVE been some popular third party kid friendly games in recent years, such as Skylanders and Scribblenauts. Heck the later did well enough that nintendo teamed up with them to provide exclusive content for the Nintendo versions of their games. Might even include Plants vs zombies on how a franchise  can grow from humble roots; it started out as humble little game, but its grown enough to get its own exclusive game with microsoft's support… hence the above idea of gainging steam on other platform's before going on the a wii U to compete with mario. They don't beat out Mario, but you don't have to beat mario to turn a profit.


    Heck another detail that EA misses is that kid friendly games may actually be CHEAPER to make. Game companies like EA often complain that game development has been getting to expensive, and one of the big expenses come from just how much insane detail they put in these high graphics games. They want to push the graphics harder because they think it will help sell their mature games, but any profit they might get is offset by how much more money they ended up spending to make the game. It's self-defeating.

    Its actually why the Wii was such business genius; Nintendo held back on graphics and thus cut down the costs of both their console and the games for it, and focused on selling people on innovative gameplay; nintendo made a more affordable console that they could sell at a profit while Sony and MS took a loss on every console sold; And nintendo sold WAY more consoles and games than Sony or MS. With lower costs and increased volume, Nintendo easily won out financially over its competitors. The more family friendly games of Nintendo don't rely on high end graphics nearly as much as more realistic games do. Even if the game does not sell as much as one of Nintendo's games, EA could still make a handsome profit. Indie games as well show how much more important good gameplay is over high end graphics; great games made on a small budget. Focus on good solid gameplay, instead of fancy graphics and make more money by spending less on development.


  4. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    So, it's a hostile environment because Nintendo's own games are popular?

    You do realize that's a crap argument, right?  I mean, it assumes that Nintendo owners DON'T also game on PC or Sony or MS consoles.

    If the Nintendo versions of games were priced similarly, didn't have cut content and noticeable dips in performance, the sales gap would be significantly smaller.

  5. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I suspect that this was an attitude expressed by some particular PM or executive as opposed to an official corporate stance or even one commonly shared among upper management.  It can often feel like one`s department is representative of a whole company, but realistically EA is huge and diverse, and TBH they will probably just go with whatever they predict will make money.

    "just kids IP" sounds like a localized bit of grumbling.

  6. 0
    Sleaker says:

    And that is exactly why it's a hostile environment for third party developers.  The First party promotion stifles other companies out.  Why would you want to compete with a platforms controller on IP and software sales when they have consistently shown they cater to their own business first, and don't provide very good support for building games on your system.

    When you go to build on Mario you have to compete against all of their already established Kid-Friendly IP and games.  If you don't already have developers/designers that are keen on what sells to these types why take the business risk?  EA already has enough bad press to deal with that's mature, I don't think adding in kid content is a very good thing for them.

  7. 0
    Monte says:

    "EA like Activision is only focused on games that can be big franchises"

    EA of course ignores the fact that nintendo's kid friendly franchises are some of the biggest franchises in the history of gaming.

  8. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "Even the Mass Effect title on Wii U, which was a solid effort…"

    The Wii U was the only console that didn't get Mass Effect Trilogy.  This is especially annoying considering Nintendo is the only one that didn't get any of the previous Mass Effect games.

    On top of that, Mass Effect 3 for the Wii U was missing most of the DLC!

    Solid effort my ass.


    Andrew Eisen

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