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EA not making any games for Wii U

EA not making any games for Wii U

The Wii U took Nintendo's controller innovation to the next level but has failed to sell in significant volumes.

Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) has confirmed that it currently has "no games in development for the Wii U."

Speaking to Kotaku, Jeff Brown, vice president of communications and public affairs at Electronic Arts, revealed the news, which comes only two years after EA CEO John Riccitiello stood on the Nintendo stage at E3 to announce an "unprecedented partnership."

However, some six months after launch that commitment is now fulfilled and the company has decided to focus on other platforms, at least for the time being.

The news will come as a blow, if not a surprise, to Nintendo as it struggles to create some excitement around its flagging Wii U console. As of March 31, the Wii U had sold 3.45 million units since its launch, which is below Nintendo's initial forecast of 5.5 million and even January's adjustment to 4 million.

Nintendo expects to have sold 9 million Wii U consoles by next fiscal year, ending March 2014, with sales spurred by the release of "key Nintendo titles."

EA's woes
While all this sounds fairly dire for Nintendo, EA itself isn't in the best of shape, as it is undergoing significant restructuring in an effort to move back to profitability. So it isn't, perhaps the maker or breaker it once was.

That said, other studios are seemingly following suit with the likes of Grand Theft Auto V (Take Two) and Call of Duty (Activision) both announced for Xbox and PS3 only, with few other titles on their rosters that are destined for Wii U.

On the other hand, the next Batman game and Scribblenauts Unmasked will be arriving for Wii U from Warner Brothers this year. Meanwhile Ubisoft will soon be bringing new Rayman and Assassin's Creed games as well as the highly-anticipated open-world game Watch Dogs.

Wii U
Nintendo launched the Wii U in November last year, bang in time for Christmas. It features an innovative new touchscreen controller that allows for a number of new playing styles, including using the touchscreen as a conventional controller, using it as a secret screen in multiplayer games and using it to play Wii U games while the TV is switched off or turned to another channel. It also features Wii-style motion tracking and the console itself has had a big update in graphical quality, moving to HD.

However, its new features simply haven't captured the public's imagination in the same way the Wii did six years before. With it also lacking many AAA titles and being over 50% more expensive than that console at launch, it has struggled.

The company can still rely on a strong following for its own games, however, and there are plenty of these key titles yet to be launched.

30 Comments

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Yaka 17th May 2013, 09:52 Quote
After what happened with wii is it any suprise? After the first couple of years only ninty were earning any thing on games.
rollo 17th May 2013, 10:50 Quote
Does not surprise me one bit. EA just wants sure sellers the wii u is not it at this moment.
Hustler 17th May 2013, 12:16 Quote
Ominous for the WiiU, Sega's Dreamcast failiure in the crucial US market was put down to EA not developing for it, instead putting all it's dev teams resources into PS2 development.

..this console is a dead man walking I'm afraid.
blacko 17th May 2013, 12:21 Quote
How to fix Nintendo....

Pokemon iOS/Android.
MjFrosty 17th May 2013, 12:21 Quote
No real lose.

Even the Wii is outselling the Wii U for crying out loud.
Skiddywinks 17th May 2013, 13:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MjFrosty
No real lose.

Even the Wii is outselling the Wii U for crying out loud.

Such things are really not uncommon in the console market.
GoodBytes 17th May 2013, 14:58 Quote
So much wrong is being said.
First of all, Nintendo is making money, despite the poor sales of the WiiU.
WiiU sales are similar to the GameCube, which was a success for Nintendo, as despite being more powerful than the PS2 and failed to sales due to the lack of DVD player, and marketing power of Sony, the console didn't make Nintendo loose money on every unit sold.

Also, Nintendo can have a flop for 10 years, analysis says, before they go in the red. They can get investors, they can get a loan, and you have the owners of Nintendo, who have funds. Nintendo is well settled in, and are not going anywhere.

Sega story, is that Sega was loosing to Nintendo year after year. And Sony panics, releasing new consoles almost every year, let's not mention expensive addons like the Sega CD, and 32X. People got burned, and when the Dreamcast arrived, people said "I'll wait, because next year, Sega will probably release a brand new console". But at this time, Sega got a restructuring in managers, and stopped doing this mess.... but the damage was done. And with Sony massive Apple style advertisement force (ads on the new PS1, non stop, every commercial break practically), made people decide to wait and see the PS1, before buying the Dreamcast. When the PS1 was released, Sega, thought they had no chance due to the crazy hype level for the PS1, and pull the plug. However, if Sega didn't, they would have survived, because Sony could not sale the PS1 due to shortage of components.

Sega was out of money, out of energy, could not get loans, and lost all trust to gamers, and even a lot of it's fans before the Dreamcast lunched.

That's the difference.

For Nintendo to make games for mobile platform is stupid. Here is why:
1- Nintendo makes more money out of 60$ games than a 1$ game.

2- Nintendo makes money on the console... not selling one, would reduce profits.

3- Nintendo is a TOY COMPANY. They used to make toys, then went to electronics (video game console) after, because that was the most profitable for them. Compare Sony vs Nintendo. PS4, is the PS3, with updated specs... the PS3 is the PS2 with updated specs... PS2 is a PS1 with updated specs. Heck even the controller is virtually identically between each console. Nintendo bring new feature to change the gaming experience that people have, over higher specs. You can call it a gimmick, like a new doll house, but it's a toy, Nintendo sees their console as a toy, and Nintendo makes money on it. Sony sees their console more as a TV video game computer sort of thing.
Gareth Halfacree 17th May 2013, 15:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
3- Nintendo is a TOY COMPANY. They used to make toys, then went to electronics (video game console) after, because that was the most profitable for them.
Nintendo hasn't been a toy company for years. If you're looking back to its origins, then Nintendo was actually founded as a hanafuda card manufacturer. It also had its hands in a number of other ventures before electronic gaming took off: it ran a series of semi-successful 'love hotels' (yes, they're exactly what they sound like) made possible thanks to its ties to the Japanese mafia, launched an ill-fated TV network, heck it even produced and sold instant rice packets to make ends meet.

Nintendo has been primarily an electronic games company since the late 70s/early 80s. Yes, they've done other things - but to call them a toy company is extremely inaccurate.

As for the sense of selling mobile games versus console games, there's an interesting little graph here that shows how mobile gaming spend is absolutely annihilating traditional hand-held gaming spend. Sure, you make more profit selling one $60 over one $1 game - but the equation soon changes when you're selling 10 million $1 games to 10 thousand $60 games...
GoodBytes 17th May 2013, 15:08 Quote
Video game console is a toy.
rollo 17th May 2013, 15:10 Quote
Its an entertainment device surely?
Gareth Halfacree 17th May 2013, 15:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Video game console is a toy.
Would that not mean that Sony and Microsoft - and, once upon a time, Sega - are also in the business of making toys, just like Nintendo?
fix-the-spade 17th May 2013, 15:16 Quote
EA and Nintendo's unprecedented partnership, we're circling the drain together!

I don't think either will actually go down said drain, but the last couple of years (and probably the next couple too) will stand as a nice monument to the danger of believing your own hype.
rollo 17th May 2013, 15:17 Quote
Does not really matter what we think the facts are its not selling EA have dropped support end of discussion really.

The only thing open to discussion is if other major developers will follow. As they might assume that if EA can not make it work why should we.

Success is a term last i checked nintendo were just above break even ($46million profit) for the last quater compared to a $300million loss the quater before. The 3DS and Wii U were heavily blamed for the loss the quater before due to high price points on both. After prices were dropped nintendo made a profit again.

If they make 50mil profit for the next 2 quaters gives them a year to date loss of $200million not exactly wonderful.

Wii U official sold figures are 3.45million units as of 24th april 2013 as provided by nintendo. the 3ds has broke 30million and is seen as the main reason why they have gone back into a profit. Theres alot of figures been branded about but i trust nintendos figures more than some wierd site that has no clue.
Gareth Halfacree 17th May 2013, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Wii U official sold figures are 3.45million units as of 24th april 2013 as provided by nintendo. the 3ds has broke 30million and is seen as the main reason why they have gone back into a profit. Theres alot of figures been branded about but i trust nintendos figures more than some wierd site that has no clue.
("Bandied about," not "branded about." Sorry, pet peeve.)

One thing to be careful of when a company offers 'sales' figures: they're never actually 'units sold,' they're 'units shipped.' The difference: a 'unit shipped' is a box going into the supply chain, i.e. being 'sold' to a retailer like Asda, Tesco, Game, Amazon, whoever. It's then up to the retailer to actually sell the item to an end-user - in the biz, this is known as 'sell-through.' When Nintendo says it has 'sold' X million units, it means it has provided X million units to retail customers. These units will sit in its customers' warehouses across the world, until they're actually sold-through.

If they don't sell through? They get sent back to Nintendo for a refund, if the contract allows.

It's a clever piece of phraseology that can make a big difference: we already know that the channel has a glut of Wii U units, as Asda and others wouldn't be knocking £100 off the RRP if they weren't desperate to clear some space. Thus the interesting figure would be units sold-through, not units 'sold.' Sadly, that's a figure Nintendo doesn't fancy sharing.
B1GBUD 17th May 2013, 15:45 Quote
I've always likened a console to a childs play thing... ergo, a toy!
Cei 17th May 2013, 15:57 Quote
It's dying a death, despite what GoodBytes thinks.

Nintendo have slashed sales targets, which is clearly an indicator of poor demand and ultimately profit. Publishers are pulling out all over the place, not just EA, as there isn't the user base to actually generate enough sales of the games to make back development costs. After all, taking the recent example of Tomb Raider, selling 3+ million copies wasn't enough to make money, yet that equals nearly the entire worldwide user base of the WiiU, and you will never sell a game to everybody (exception: Wii Sports).

Secondly, money. The WiiU was £299 for the 32GB + ZombiiU bundle on launch in the UK, or £249 for the 8GB base model. At those prices, Nintendo lost a few pennies, making that back as soon as you purchased a single title. Today, retailers are slashing prices in the UK, with it falling as low as £149 for the 8GB model. Nintendo aren't losing pennies at that price, they're losing significant amounts of money, and so are the retailers trying to clear inventory. You can't argue that every WiiU sold is money in Nintendo's bank, because it simply isn't the case.

Nintendo are being kept afloat by the success of the 3DS, simple as that. The WiiU is being sold on promises of future games...all of which are pretty much first party at this point. No wonder they're having problems shifting units. The Wii had exactly the same problem, with only first party games being the worthwhile titles, but had the advantage of massive publicity and word-of-mouth, whereas the WiiU has none of this - or even confusion as parents don't understand that it is a new console.
Harlequin 17th May 2013, 16:05 Quote
posted this about 2 months ago lol when crisis 3 was canned , and goodbytes then replied about EA and Nintendo not getting along thanks to Nintendo saying NO to origin on the Wii U.
Cei 17th May 2013, 16:21 Quote
Why would that make a difference? Sony are never going to allow Origin on the PlayStation, nor are Microsoft on the Xbox. EA know the score with consoles - curated stores from the manufacturer, nothing else.

If GB was correct, EA would have exited the console market entirely.
GoodBytes 17th May 2013, 16:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Would that not mean that Sony and Microsoft - and, once upon a time, Sega - are also in the business of making toys, just like Nintendo?

Correct, but Microsoft and Sony are not seeing it as a toy. Microsoft is seeing the next XBox as a Media Center computer. And Sony as a TV computer type of thing.

The same way you are seeing game console as an entertainment device, and like you can see it a decorative item in a room.

I am at work now, but Nintendo has a Nintendo Direct coming up, or already released.

Devs are not pulling out of the WiiU. It's that the system is not selling because Nintendo selling and marketing strategy failed. One point that Nintendo made BEFORE the WiiU was released, is that they decided to not have any blockbuster WiiU first party games to steal the show out of third party games, to help third party devs. I KINDA see what Nintendo was thinking, but ultimately they forgot that you need a block buster game to sale the console... INCLUDED with the system. I guess they hoped that Nintendo Land would be such title, as you have a "taste of everything" kinda of approach (a bit of zelda, metroid, mario kart battle mode, etc) But, sadly it didn't. But then again, who would know. I bet 100% of you, would have said that Wii Sports was crap, yet it ended up being the system seller game.

So, Nintendo screwed up. And the rushed release of the WiiU, didn't help for first impression.

The system will pick up sales. Pikmin 3, the 2x Zelda games, Mario Kart, Super Smash brothers, Metroid, Paper Mario, Donkey Kong, are all system sellers. Add StarFox, F-Zero, GoldenSun, and Fire Emblem, and WiiU will be very strong competitor to the other console. Will be 1st place? No. I don't think so, close 3rd position is what I expect.

Also, Nintendo selling the Dev Console at SUPER cheap price (2500$ only), with full support, no office required, and any game updates are free and selling fees are the lowest. And HTML5/JS support (kinda like what Windows 8 supports for doing ModernUI apps). Nintendo seam to do everything is can, to be the best indie game platform.

So, the WiiU has a lot of hopes in their hands. And Nintendo has a lot of cards in their hands.
Hence why I don't see the WiiU being a flop.

At a personal level, I don't have a gaming console now of this coming up (and already released) gen, I am waiting to see what all 3 companies has to offer. But let's say, that I get a WiiU. I have my PC to play all my EA published games. And I am sure, others will get a second console in any case.

Many had the XBox 360 or the PS3, and bought a Wii just for Nintendo games, or the reverse, or like me, had a PC to complement their console. Some have the XBox 360 and the PS3.

There is no law, that says you have to pick 1 console and you are stuck with it for 6 years.
Harlequin 17th May 2013, 16:27 Quote
no , that's not what was said - EA wanted origin exclusive for selling software on wiiu - cutting out Nintendo entirely - look at the spat with steam of how EA reacts.

the deal with sony and ms go back years so they cant really change it. Nintendo said no , so EA canned crysis 3 which was finished.
Andy Mc 17th May 2013, 16:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
no , that's not what was said - EA wanted origin exclusive for selling software on wiiu - cutting out Nintendo entirely - look at the spat with steam of how EA reacts.

the deal with sony and ms go back years so they cant really change it. Nintendo said no , so EA canned crysis 3 which was finished.

Indeed. This is nothing more than EA throwing their toys out the pram as they couldn't get their own way and then trying to blame the other party. Albeit trying to pin it on something unrelated.
GoodBytes 17th May 2013, 16:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cei
Why would that make a difference? Sony are never going to allow Origin on the PlayStation, nor are Microsoft on the Xbox. EA know the score with consoles - curated stores from the manufacturer, nothing else.

If GB was correct, EA would have exited the console market entirely.

They would, but they can't... because the console market is too profitable. EA can afford to do this for the WiiU, as it's a new console, and market share is very low, and it's not selling like free delicious hot cakes.

Personally, I expect EA coming back to WiiU when the console will pick up, as the market share would be to high to ignore. It will not please EA investors if EA ignore a large market. As investors are not gamers, right now they believe the crap that EA is saying about the WiiU, (despite having Frostbite engine running on cellphones and tablets)
Harlequin 17th May 2013, 16:45 Quote
http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/graphics/display/20130515221813_EA_DICE_Develops_Frostbite_Go_Engine_for_Apple_iOS_and_Google_Android.html


Frostbite GO - so its all rubbish about games not working at there best on the WiiU - as GB said , if they can work on ipads and galaxy tabs , then they will work better on the WiiU
rollo 17th May 2013, 16:48 Quote
EA dont want to support Wii U that is there choice after all. Nintendo could of helped them with a better price point at least in the uk.
Aracos 17th May 2013, 17:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacko
How to fix Nintendo....

Pokemon iOS/Android.

I wish people wouldn't say this. Let's face it Pokemon is a handheld franchise, yes they release home console games but they are spin-offs and not even proper games most of the time. The 3DS is having brilliant success so Pokemon iOS/Android would help with extra money but they don't need to.

Now Zelda, Mario & Metroid iOS/Android is a more reasonable statement. It would actually be nice to start seeing more good games on Android, there's more crap than the Wii had on the play store at the moment. Of course I can only speak for Android, I don't use iOS/Windows Phone/Blackberry but I doubt they're that much better.
Cei 17th May 2013, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Correct, but Microsoft and Sony are not seeing it as a toy. Microsoft is seeing the next XBox as a Media Center computer. And Sony as a TV computer type of thing.

The same way you are seeing game console as an entertainment device, and like you can see it a decorative item in a room.

I am at work now, but Nintendo has a Nintendo Direct coming up, or already released.

Devs are not pulling out of the WiiU. It's that the system is not selling because Nintendo selling and marketing strategy failed. One point that Nintendo made BEFORE the WiiU was released, is that they decided to not have any blockbuster WiiU first party games to steal the show out of third party games, to help third party devs. I KINDA see what Nintendo was thinking, but ultimately they forgot that you need a block buster game to sale the console... INCLUDED with the system. I guess they hoped that Nintendo Land would be such title, as you have a "taste of everything" kinda of approach (a bit of zelda, metroid, mario kart battle mode, etc) But, sadly it didn't. But then again, who would know. I bet 100% of you, would have said that Wii Sports was crap, yet it ended up being the system seller game.

So, Nintendo screwed up. And the rushed release of the WiiU, didn't help for first impression.

The system will pick up sales. Pikmin 3, the 2x Zelda games, Mario Kart, Super Smash brothers, Metroid, Paper Mario, Donkey Kong, are all system sellers. Add StarFox, F-Zero, GoldenSun, and Fire Emblem, and WiiU will be very strong competitor to the other console. Will be 1st place? No. I don't think so, close 3rd position is what I expect.

Also, Nintendo selling the Dev Console at SUPER cheap price (2500$ only), with full support, no office required, and any game updates are free and selling fees are the lowest. And HTML5/JS support (kinda like what Windows 8 supports for doing ModernUI apps). Nintendo seam to do everything is can, to be the best indie game platform.

So, the WiiU has a lot of hopes in their hands. And Nintendo has a lot of cards in their hands.
Hence why I don't see the WiiU being a flop.

At a personal level, I don't have a gaming console now of this coming up (and already released) gen, I am waiting to see what all 3 companies has to offer. But let's say, that I get a WiiU. I have my PC to play all my EA published games. And I am sure, others will get a second console in any case.

Many had the XBox 360 or the PS3, and bought a Wii just for Nintendo games, or the reverse, or like me, had a PC to complement their console. Some have the XBox 360 and the PS3.

There is no law, that says you have to pick 1 console and you are stuck with it for 6 years.

You've just listed a bunch of first party games, which is all that shifted Wii sales as well. System sellers? Maybe, but other big system sellers are Call of Duty, Battlefield and Halo (Destiny?), none of which will appear on the WiiU. Using just one of your examples, Pikmin, has sold a mere 1.18 million copies - that's nothing compared to modern AAA titles that regularly go over 5 million in a lifetime. Consoles need a breadth of developers to get a truly good catalogue of games, proven time after time by the PlayStation in its various iterations, with the Wii actually being a blip in history, sold off the gimmick of motion control and excellent marketing.

The GameCube had the same series of so-called "system sellers", and they didn't really do that well in that role either, because once you exhausted those games there was nothing else, and the PS2 looked far more appealing. You could get Sony's first party games, and then literally shovels of third party, with many many gems in there.

As for development, it is all well and good having a cheap unit, but you actually have to support those indie outfits...just like Nintendo haven't, and Sony have. Nintendo have a terrible reputation in regards to updates, publishing agreements and store access, and with their track record of totally not understanding the internet (Friend codes, seriously?) that won't be changing any time soon.

In regards to the whole thing about Frostbite, it is just a word. EA are saying that the full-fat engine doesn't work (or would be too much effort) k on the WiiU. Yes, they're developing a stripped down version that probably would work on the WiiU for the mobile market, but why bother? If the game sales numbers aren't there to make development worth while, why even make the engine? Plus using the phone version of Frostbite really would just widen the gap between the WiiU and the true next generation (or even current generation) consoles.

EA may come back to the WiiU, if it sells in sufficient numbers. I don't think it will, and will occupy the same position as the GCN - a distant third place, only purchased at knock down prices to play a few Nintendo games.
fdbh96 17th May 2013, 22:34 Quote
GoodBytes 17th May 2013, 23:44 Quote
I wonder how much EA payed him per post?
Spuzzell 18th May 2013, 18:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacko
How to fix Nintendo....

Pokemon iOS/Android.

Fix Nintendo?

Nintendo have billions in the bank and a roster of titles that are guaranteed to sell both consoles and millions of units.

But yeah, abandoning that model so they can hand over 40% of their sales to Google and Apple makes total sense.

Jeeze.
ssj12 18th May 2013, 23:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacko
How to fix Nintendo....

Pokemon iOS/Android.

pfft, Pokemon MMORPG.
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