News Article

EA Executive Repeats That The Company is "Platform Agnostic", Cites "Tremendous Relationship" With Nintendo

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Apart from the no Wii U games thing, that is

At times we exist in a Twilight Zone in video game land. A major publisher will say something and we'll think "oh, that's nice", and then we'll look at what's actually happening and think, "eh?" It's a bizarre world where words uttered have little relation to reality, where straight lines and honest talk are replaced by wavy lines and confusion.

Step forward Executive VP of EA Sports, Andrew Wilson, who's been speaking to IGN at Gamescom. This is against a context of an event in which a range of exclusive DLC, releases and bundle deals led many to conclude — not unreasonably — that EA is devoting more resources and priorities to the Xbox One than the PS4, at this stage. Of course, such words cannot be uttered when trying to avoid upsetting current and potential partners, and here's what he said when asked about support for Sony's system and, tellingly for us here at Nintendo Life, the Wii U.

You know I think we’ll have a great relationship with Microsoft for the foreseeable future. But I also don’t think that means we won’t have a great relationship with Sony. I mean at the end of the day we’re a platform agnostic company. We have great relationships with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. There’s different things we do with different partners on different titles and different franchises.

...We’re not building for Nintendo right now, but we have a tremendous relationship with them and have had a long relationship with them, and should it make sense for us to do so in the future we’ll absolutely roll that into the plan.

Much there is factually correct, and it's also entirely reasonable to say that the future can bring changes, but a prominent EA executive citing a "tremendous relationship" with Nintendo does ring a little hollow. Ubisoft and Activision, two other publishing behemoths, may have reduced support for Nintendo's latest system in light of low sales, but they haven't outright abandoned it as yet. That's what's happened with EA, which is developing games (including FIFA 14 for 3DS and Wii) in some form for almost all other platforms, but not even gracing the Wii U with a reskinned kit-pack.

The presence of ports for the hugely popular FIFA on the 3DS and Wii can certainly be attributed to those system's much larger install bases, even bearing in mind our point above regarding Ubisoft and Activision. As we've said before in various articles, the goings-on that have prompted the existing EA policy with Nintendo's current home console may never be known, and its thoroughness in leaving out the Wii U is baffling, dare we say unprecedented.

It's a tremendous relationship, perhaps, just without the Wii U games.

[via uk.ign.com]

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User Comments (83)

Captain_Toad

#3

Captain_Toad said:

Heh, Heh, Sure EA. If that rage quit deal with that Origin thing didn't happen then it'll hold water. But alas...

Ryno

#4

Ryno said:

So would that be an unprecedented tremendous relationship?

Adam

#6

Adam said:

EA is not sure if they believe in the existence of platforms. Oh English, how did you let this become a saying?

Azooooz

#7

Azooooz said:

So they have gone from "unprecedented" relationship with no games for Wii U for this year to "tremendous" relationship with no game for the rest of the Wii U lifespan? Yeah, kinda legit.

Einherjar

#8

Einherjar said:

Im always baffled that the universe itself allows for so much egoism, ignorance and stupidity to be existant in one single company without collapsing...

DefHalan

#10

DefHalan said:

tremendous? Is that tremendously good or bad? Tremendous just means large in scale so we don't know if it is a good or bad relationship

Darknyht

#11

Darknyht said:

Just to play devil's advocate, you know you can still buy the Wii version of FIFA 12 (sorry, FIFA 14) and play it on the Wii U.

That said, I understand the frustration there, especially when it comes to Mass Effect and the lame excuse for not bringing the entire trilogy to the system (or even a complete Mass Effect 3).

ajcismo

#12

ajcismo said:

I wish my computer would give me an electric shock every time I click on articles about EA.

millarrp

#17

millarrp said:

I would be less sceptical of their "tremendous relationship" if they were doing something for the Wii U, even if it was just virtual console releases like Skate or Die

Gressil

#18

Gressil said:

EA: Extremely Artificial, Exuberant Abhorrence.

Whatever. They can kick rocks. More Ubisoft please.
Their customer support is a joke as well as their motto.
Challenge everything? "We are challenged" is closer.

Subie98

#19

Subie98 said:

I really dont care for 98% of what ea makes or as company and their buisness practice. I hate that they own need for speed, dice and the games they make (like battlefield).

banacheck

#21

banacheck said:

EA loves Microsoft as thay'll throw money at them, 'tremendous relationship' i don't see how thay can say that as at the moment thay have no relationship with Nintendo.

GuSilverFlame

#22

GuSilverFlame said:

it's a tremendous relationship of enmity. it was of tolerance but EA had to take a step further in the relationship!

raith

#24

raith said:

Damn, what is that horrendous odor? It's just awful. I can't believe how bad it......oh, it's just EA's usual bull***t. I'll go play some Wii-U so it'll go away.

ToastyYogurt

#25

ToastyYogurt said:

I'm glad EA was donating their share of the money from the Humble Origin Bundle to charity. That way, I'm not supporting a faceless, money-eating monster that hides behind little good deeds.

sinalefa

#27

sinalefa said:

Well the guy represents his company so he is as full of bs as the whole thing. Makes sense to me

Caryslan

#28

Caryslan said:

EA, there is this amazing concept called putting your games on the Wii U. It might start redeeming yourself in the eyes of an entire fanbase that you angered with your foolish comments, and would mean a lot more than stupid interviews with horrible buzzwords.

What in the frak does "platform agnostic company" even mean anyway?

Is it code for "We're in love with Microsoft and we want them to be #1, but we'll toss a few games to the other platforms. Might wanna treat Playstation owners kinda good as well. Microsoft might lose big this generation, so we need a backup plan. We'll kinda support Nintendo platforms, but god knows the loser Nintendo fanboys won't buy anything unless Mario is plastered on the box, so we can't expect much from them. And some of the PC crowd are still bitter over what we did to Wing Commander, Ultima, and SimCity, so we can't bet the farm on them either."

Really EA? Just treat Nintendo fans with respect and get over Origin not being on the Wii U. How in the world can a billion dollar company act like a group of spoiled children.

Does EA want to have a 3-time winning streak of earing "The Worst Company of the year" Because they must love that title given how they act at times.

JaxonH

#29

JaxonH said:

EA hasn't been there for Nintendo when they need them. I think when the tables turn, and Wii U is flying off shelves (or even just with the 3DS, being the top selling gaming device in the world right now), Nintendo should tell EA they can't sell their games on Nintendo systems. Should tell them "we don't think it'll sell enough copies, and will devalue the gaming library's integrity". See how they like being on the receiving end....

rjejr

#31

rjejr said:

Having watched the EA event live streaming on Push Square there was a moment about halfway thru that I remembered it was an EA show, and not an Xbox1 show, that show focused so much on MS.

I don't understand why they even mention Nintendo. If they don't want to make Wii U games then don't, but just don't mention Nintendo then.

Nice choice of E3 picture, sums it up nicely.

Cohort

#32

Cohort said:

Very strange business decisions by EA, first off they call the Wii U a "crappy console" and expect people to buy their games for the system (did the same thing with the Wii) then decide to "take their ball home" because of the origin thing..

Now EA seem to think that when the Wii picks up (obviously someone has seen the new games that are coming out) they can just cash in.. Grrrrrrrrrr!

Link41x

#33

Link41x said:

what realationship? the one where EA is done with Nintendo and now never calls?

Cyberbotv2

#34

Cyberbotv2 said:

Are these guys serious? They could've dropped all their sports titles on WiiU, where there are no sports titles, with Gamepad support and made a heap of money. Now when they come next year, they'll probably run into serious competition with 2K sports.

Hyperstar96

#35

Hyperstar96 said:

Stop being paranoid and saying EA doesn't support Wii U! You got FOUR GAMES from them, isn't that enough?!

(Sarcasm, in case it wasn't obvious. Get your act together, EA.)

QuickSilver88

#36

QuickSilver88 said:

I think EA is really being run by idiots.....ok so maybe you are in a liitle tiff with Nintendo but how unprofessional to spend the better part of 2013 pissing all over their fanbase.......a core fanbase that is as loyal as any in the gaming world. Why bother? Whats sad is that EA could do some really innovative things with Madden and FIFA on The gamepad. In general RPGs are popular with Nintendo gamers so I think Dragon Age would do well. I think the should just shut up and go kiss M$ until they see XB1 is going to struggle this generation then maybe they will see an improving WiiU base and give us some games.

Bizzyb

#37

Bizzyb said:

Ridiculous comment.

That's like telling your girlfriend you two still have a tremendous relationship after blindly dumping her for the next hottie...and then saying that you two MIGHT get back together in the future....lol

Kroisos

#38

Kroisos said:

I am very proud of the relationship I have with EA. It couldn't be stronger, and I continue to consider them a partner in my gaming. I do not own any EA games, have no plans on buying them, but will make any announcements should they become warranted.

Kyloctopus

#39

Kyloctopus said:

If you're not making games on their system, then your relationship with them is weak.
I understand that the Wii U doesn't have a great amount of sales, but they are also not making games for the 3DS, which is the fastest selling console currently. If it doesn't make sense now, then why would it ever?

GiftedGimp

#40

GiftedGimp said:

Translation- Unfortunatly our partnership with microsoft revolved around the Xb1 drm policies, which effectivly shut down trading and sharing of games. Now Microsoft have u-turned on the drm policies for Xb1 we won't be able to get the revenue we anticipated. As a result we will bring games to WiiU but since we decided to abandon all game development for WiiU before we had even launched Need For Speed on WiiU, and we are too late into development to start bringing current projects to WiiU we wont be able to make any WiiU announcments untill our next development cycle.
In the meantime, a bit like the u-turn statement regarding the Fostbyte engine and compatability/performance statements firstly stating WiiU can't run it then saying actually the WiiU is easily capable we at EA will occassionly put out press statements that praise the WiiU, totally contradicting the various past press statements we've released and use size of the WiiU's userbase as a reason why we at EA are holding off game announcments even though we know that at least one if not both of the new systems to be released by Microsoft and Sony will more than likely have a simular sized userbase than the WiiUs for at least 18months in a worse case scenario for WiiU.

Shambo

#41

Shambo said:

I'll remain polite here... They might still own the rights to Time Splitters... ?

Memeboy3

#43

Memeboy3 said:

Nintendo doesn't need them, Nintendo just needs to buy or get the highest bid on Index to show EA who's boss...

MrWalkieTalkie

#46

MrWalkieTalkie said:

It's like a guy who claims to be your best friend in the world but never wants to be seen in public with you or invite you to any get-togethers or parties.

RedRocBoy

#47

RedRocBoy said:

I wish these people would stop this BS. They're trying to sabotage the Wii U, one of the biggest video game publishers are acting as if the Wii U has some sort of plague. Then you have these other smaller companies jumping on the bandwagon. I would love a Dead Space and Cryssis Trilogy on the Wii U but I doubt we get anything from them. Disney might force them to make Star Wars games but that's probably it. I freakin' hate EA. PEOPLE!!!
Watch the profanity please — TBD

element187

#49

element187 said:

Sorry EA, I'm still not buying your products on any of my consoles, PC nor my tablets and smartphones.... I'm done with your products. Besides, you only make dudebro games today, and I can't stand dudebro games anymore. It's stale.

Sceptic

#50

Sceptic said:

Jeez, get a grip guys. It's about money. The WiiU has sold exceptionally badly for a very long time now and EA not only has some profitability problems of their own, they have shareholders that want that fixed. Read the busines pages occasionally. They're not the Salvation Army and they are not in a position to blindly invest in a platform that may well be pretty much dead from a business standpoint a year from now. And if it takes off, they'll be back. That's how it works and that is what they are saying.

It's not up to EA to sink cash into WiiU to try and float it. That would be up to Nintendo, but they're just chugging along at a comfortable pace, making vague announcements here and there and the odd release too. The absence of panic or even just productive overdrive at Nintendo in the light of this disaster is just mind boggling. Zelda to the rescue? Don't hold your breath. The Zelda crowd probably already has a WiiU.

I'm amazed UbiSoft is hanging on like it is and as relieved as I am, it frankly doesn't make much business sense to me, unless they are just finishing up projects already in thepipeline and they'll pull an EA in a year or so when everything has been finished up.

Look at the missing features on WiiU versions from other devs. Everybody is either staying away or restricting their effort to a minimum.They have companies to run. Salaries to pay. Shareholders to keep happy. They don't care any less about WiiU than about Xbox or PS, it's just that on WiiU, with the current numbers, they can't make a profit. Simple as that. And unlike with Nintendo apparently, in most places bad business decisions will cost you your job.

Wake up and smell the coffee. Complaining over EA is just trying to kill the messenger. They don't owe anybody anything.

It's all. Entirely. Nintendo's. Fault.

drunkenmaster76

#52

drunkenmaster76 said:

Larger install base? ps4 and xbone don't even have a install base but there still getting a shed load of games made by EA, so why not WII U?

drunkenmaster76

#53

drunkenmaster76 said:

So if xbone and ps4 dont sell in the massive numbers people are expecting and only manage around the same sales as wii u, are people gonna start saying there doomed and stop making games for them also

drunkenmaster76

#54

drunkenmaster76 said:

@sceptic your talking f -ing nonsense there pumping millions of dollars into the development of games for 2 consoles that aint even available yet on the basis that they think they are going to sell better than wii u. The only reason there going to sell better is because they have put the money into developing for these other 2 consoles and not WII U. Thats why there's a slow install base because of the lack of 3rd party new games.

drunkenmaster76

#55

drunkenmaster76 said:

I hope the video game industry falls on its donkey and when it does you know who the only survivor's will be. NINTENDO

TheLilK98

#56

TheLilK98 said:

Know what? Just get out and stay out. I don't even care anymore. You say you have a "tremendous relationship" with us yet don't even give us Madden 25? Either just admit you don't give a crap about the Wii U or shut up.

Cohort

#57

Cohort said:

@Sceptic Lets not pretend that people are getting on EA's back for simply making a business decision, we're hardly in Bayonetta 2 territory here.

EA have been a sh*t stain on the industry ever since they turned up in the 90s when they "acquired" a "rogue" genesis dev kit, that was then used to blackmail Sega into letting them make games for that system on their own terms.

First off they call the Wii U a "crappy console" and expect people to buy their games for the system (did the same thing with the Wii) then decide to "take their ball home" because of the origin thing. They've even been caught out blatantly lying about the consoles capabilities..

Samurai_Goroh

#58

Samurai_Goroh said:

Where are the games, EA? Why did you badmouth Nintendo's console? You think that's a sensible thing for a 3rd party company to do?
Why are you giving me so many reasons to not ever buy a game from you, like EVER AGAIN?
Yesterday, I just learned that EA is shutting down my country's costumers support services and shifting everything to Namco Bandai services in Spain! I live in Portugal, EA, not Spain! I speak Portuguese, not Spanish! Just one more for the list, along with Origin, Season Pass and the grudge on Nintendo.

Kifa

#59

Kifa said:

Well, my relationship with EA is certainly NOT tremendous... What they did with Wii U (essentially trying to pull another Dreamcast on us for no apparent reason) is bad enough, but their Origin poop is another. Randomly loosing licenses for your legally aquired games, disconnects, unhelpful support staff... I could go on, but I won't. Not worth it.

And mark my words - we are gonna see a ton of hasty ports and remakes once Wii U picks up momentum, and they are gona whine and whine that 3-year old games, shoddily made to run on hardware they weren't designed for and probably stripped of all DLC don't sell for full price. You'll see...

GiftedGimp

#60

GiftedGimp said:

@Sceptic EA not suppoting WiiU has Nothing to do with sales, the abandoned WiiU before last christmas unofficially, at a time WiiU was selling extremely well and even became the fastest selling HD system to reach 1 million world wide sales, but waited untill after Need For Speed was released on WiiU to make thier decision Public.
In the meantime, EA and Microsoft announce thier Partnership, EA put out many proven lies/mis-information regarding WiiU and its capabilities.
But what ever EA was hoping for blew up in thier faces when Sony didn't restrict DRM rights like Microsofts initial Xbone Drm rights restrictions and then Microsoft had to u-turn on thier drm restrictions.

Paperluigi

#61

Paperluigi said:

Oh, another EA article (shakes head). Really, how hard is it to port EA sports titles each year to Wii U. They might even learn something about how to use the second screen.

HP_3

#62

HP_3 said:

Outside of Burnout, SSX, and maybe the Dead Space games, I couldn't care any less for EA.

belmont

#63

belmont said:

What I don't get is why EA gathers a lot of hate, takes "rewards" like worst company of the year and in the end most of EA games sell a lot.

FIFA and Need for Speed are some of the most popular games.

As far as Wii U is concerned if you have both Wii U and PS3 there is no way you should buy EA games on Wii U. PS3 version are cheaper or free on Plus and have all DLC available. For example Mass Effect 3 was 60 euros on Wii U while on PS3 Mass Effect Trilogy was 60 euros and one month later ME3 was free on Plus.

However it seems that EA abandoned the Wii U and also tries to "abandon" PS4 by offering more complete versions of its games on X1.

MrGawain

#65

MrGawain said:

The stupid thing is, if EA just said "were not making our money back on releasing games for the Wii U, but hope to bring something when a few more people have the console", people would accept it. By keep coming up with these 'unique/wonderful relationship' quotes, they just make themselves look like the friend you have who says they're your best friend but calls you names behind your back.

Note that Nintendo just says nothing, and carries on with business.

Cohort

#67

Cohort said:

@belmont Do some research on EA, secondly FIFA sells because it has an official and exclusive deal with the majority of the top leagues in the world, why make a decent game when you can slap an exclusive, official license on and people will still buy it?

Secondly Criterion Games (of burnout fame) make NFS, EA simply bought them out and essentially publish the game.

unrandomsam

#69

unrandomsam said:

I think Microsoft will destroy EA when it suits them.

(Look at the worldwide revenue and such between EA and Microsoft).

At some point in the future Microsoft will get everything as exclusives. EA will think it is better for them.

(Anybody other than Citrix who has partnered with Microsoft for any length of time has ended up getting destroyed in the process).

Microsoft
Revenue Increase US$ 77.85 billion (2013)
Operating income Increase US$ 26.76 billion (2013)
Net income Increase US$ 21.86 billion (2013)
Total assets Increase US$ 142.43 billion (2013)
Total equity Increase US$ 78.94 billion (2013)

EA
Revenue Increase US$4.143 billion (2012)
Operating income Increase US$35.00 million (2012)
Net income Increase US$76.00 million (2012)
Total assets Increase US$5.491 billion (2012)
Total equity Decrease US$2.458 billion (2012)

EA are nothing to Microsoft. (And Microsoft doing whatever small amount of R&D was needed for the XBONE along with wasting loads of money on unsold surface tablets. And most of the public/corporates hating Windows 8).

Maybe there is some tax scam EA is doing. (They are scum so it wouldn't surprise me. Microsoft seems better a destroying the greedy so all will be well in the end).

belmont

#70

belmont said:

@Cohort I haven't played FIFA since 2005 but I don't think that FIFA 13 would sell more than 15 million copies if it was just a license game, it is obviously a good game that football fans like it. Critics for the PS3 version were good. Wii, Wii U, PS2 and Vita version had some criticism of being just roster updates while PSP had a roster update with a bit new features like 360 dribble but those sales are the minority of the 15 million ones because probably most sales were on PS3,X360.

Also Champion's League and Europa League (that are very popular in Europe) are licensed in Pro (which is the football game I prefer).

As for Need for Speed it is common for big publishers to own multiple developer teams.

Windy

#71

Windy said:

And here I was hoping for an NHL Hockey game with online play for 3DS :(

Cohort

#72

Cohort said:

@belmont There are PLENTY of football fans that just buy anything with their team on it. Without the full official license FIFA wouldn't sell so well.
Pro doesn't have a full license, only some teams and leagues, even in CL mode there are BIG CL teams missing amongst other leagues and national teams.. EA essentially have it all, it's a closed shop.

Yes I know it is but the reason why the game sells is obviously because of Criterion who make the game, EA just publish it, any company can put the money up there and publish the game.

unrandomsam

#73

unrandomsam said:

I only really like Arcade style football (like e.g Virtua Striker when it was made primarily as a coin op. Not played the 360 version but if it is anything like Virtua Tennis it likely sucks).

I quite liked the Wii version of pro evo where you set runs using the wii mote (Think there was only one - I gave it away though so I cannot have liked it that much).

A version for the Wii U supporting 2 gamepads (Where the game is on the tv and the run's etc are done on the gamepad would likely be really good).

wombatkidd

#74

wombatkidd said:

@Sceptic

"It's not up to EA to sink cash into WiiU to try and float it. That would be up to Nintendo... It's all. Entirely. Nintendo's. Fault."

You said a lot of stuff that's just plain wrong, so I'll restrict my response to the most wrong thing you said.

Everyone always says that Nintendo has to produce games to sell their own system, but allow Sony and Microsoft to sail by with third parties doing most of their games. Microsoft especially, sells their consoles nearly entirely on the strength of third party games and get a blind pass. So tell me why Nintendo is expected to carry their systems single-handedly, but not Microsoft and Sony.

Also EA deciding that they weren't going to release some games that were done and ready to be released for no real reason, Ubisoft delaying a finished game in order to strip it of exclusivity (even though sales figures hadn't even come in yet when this decision was made), and Squaresoft stripping a future elusive of exclusivity and charging Wii U owners twice the price for the same game certainly are contributing factors to the Wii U's current sales problem, whether you choose to admit that or not.

FJOJR

#75

FJOJR said:

This is why I hope 2K games returns to producing NHL games and why sports license exclusivity is bad (2K nor EA are making an NBA game for Wii U this year). Nintendo gamers will not see FIFA, Madden or NHL on the Wii U for a long while if ever.

Relias

#76

Relias said:

@Salnax The Stink (Being nice) How about releasing Fifa and making it a Wii U bundle.. like your doing with XBOX One.. or maybe a Madden with Wii U in America.. I know it's not your job to sell Wii U.. but it is your job to sell your games.. and of course.. I might point out.. you should not be helping to try and sell the XBOX One either.. and yet.. your game is coming in a bundle of which will most likely help the One in certain regions..

Relias

#77

Relias said:

@wombatkidd Ubi Soft made an error... by not releasing Rayman as a exclusive either with.. or before Zombie U.. Rayman would have done better... I agree with everything you said... but I thought I would point that out.. Nintendo is the only one who is expected to "technically" sell their own systems... third parties help in various ways to sell the others... can you imagine where PS would be is FF7 or Insert your favorite third party title here Had been on N64,Saturn, etc.. and not a PS exclusive?? Well I won't go so far as there would not be a PS family.. (Sony is/was huge the brand name Sony would sell it alone)

But I don't think it would have went over as well... I see Microsoft the same way as well..

Cohort

#78

Cohort said:

@unrandomsam PES Playmaker was the best in the series and probably the best football game that i've played for a long time.. real shame that we won't see a HD version with all the features of the PS3 and 360 versions..

Come on Konami, with EA out of the picture you can mop up!!

RedRocBoy

#80

RedRocBoy said:

Sorry. Just very passionate about how the gaming community has been treating the Wii U.

JustinH

#81

JustinH said:

They had a lot of changes at the top in the last few months. Maybe once the PS4 and the Xbox One drop they'll announce something good.

Not sure what they'd announce that I'd want to buy, but then I loved NFS Most Wanted U so there's a chance I'd be excited.

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