Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) has confirmed that it currently has "no games in development for the Wii U."
The Wii U took Nintendo's controller innovation to the next level but has failed to sell in significant volumes.
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."
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.
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.