News Article

Former Criterion Boss Alex Ward Laments Issues With Releasing Need For Speed On Wii U

Posted by Damien McFerran

"Neither Nintendo or EA gave a s*** about it"

Criterion co-founder Alex Ward recently parted company with the studio to found his new firm, Three Fields Entertainment. Yesterday, he took to Twitter to partly explain the reasons behind this move, as well as highlighting some of the issues he and his staff faced when porting Need for Speed: Most Wanted to the Wii U.

The conversation was kicked off with Ward's assertion that Three Fields will support every platform on which it can self-publish, to which one Twitter follower replied that they hoped Wii U would be included.

What followed includes some bad language, so be warned...



It's clear that Ward and his team poured a lot of love into the Wii U version of Most Wanted, and to hear that both Nintendo and EA refused to give it the appropriate marketing push — even after Ward and his team meet with them personally to request it — is somewhat shocking, especially on Nintendo's part. Granted, Nintendo didn't publish the game, but Sony and Microsoft often spend cash to promote third-party titles on their consoles, and the Wii U has been in dire need of quality AAA software over the past year. Why EA chose to bankroll the port and then allow it to die a slow death at retail is another mystery.

Ward has clearly been burned by his experiences with Nintendo, so do you think he can be blamed for not viewing the Wii U and 3DS as viable platforms for future development? Should Nintendo have been expected to market the game when EA couldn't even be bothered itself? Was the idea of releasing an port months after the game had hit other platforms a broken one from the beginning? Share your feelings by leaving a comment below.

Twitter screengrabs courtesy of Nintendo Everything.

[via nintendoeverything.com]

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User Comments (206)

SCAR392

#1

SCAR392 said:

I'm still sticking by that 3rd parties threw out anything ASAP, without much thought. The guys that ported ME3: Special Edition said the same thing.

DamoAdmin

#2

Damo said:

@SCAR392 In the case of Most Wanted, Criterion really did make the effort, though. They added a lot to the Wii U edition to make it the best version of the game on the market - it wasn't just a quick and easy port, hence the delay.

WiiLovePeace

#3

WiiLovePeace said:

I enjoyed the game greatly myself, despite the occasional freezing of my Wii U. So there's that. I feel sorry for the developers & for the game itself that they got treated this way, it ain't right but there's nothing I can do to help sadly.

SCAR392

#4

SCAR392 said:

@Damo
I realize that real effort was in place, and this company got paid for it. The guys that ported ME3 were basically told that it didn't matter whether it sold, and rightfully so, because ME Trilogy was right there. They acknowledged that would effect sales and didn't expect much.

Gustaf89

#5

Gustaf89 said:

THAT GODDAMN YAWN, this guy can suck a lemon for all i care, if it wasn't for that yawn, i could give a damn about the whining of this guy

Wesbert

#6

Wesbert said:

Part of the question is: HOW do you market a months-old game?
If it were old enough, you could at least tell them to "re-live the classic, now with improved graphics and new features". Or you can include all DLC and bonus content and release it at a cheaper price as a GOTY or complete edition or whatever.
But a marketing campaign that is essentially stuck with the message "Hey, remember that game from months ago, the one that those who were excited about will already have purchased long ago, leaving only those who weren't really all that interested in it to begin with? Well, now they can ignore a band new version of it" won't help, no matter how much money you pour into it.
The only ones really eager for such a game would be Nintendo-only gamers, but I fear those got burned too often by shoddy ports to really care about third party releases any more.

Discostew

#8

Discostew said:

If EA wasn't going to support it, then why should Nintendo front the bill or any portion of it? We hear Sony and Microsoft supporting these kind of games, but do they support them in the same scenarios that Nintendo has had with recently 3rd-party dealings? Microsoft's own policies prevent this from happening, forcing either the MS version to release at the same time or earlier as the next earliest version elsewhere (possibly pushing back such versions.....Rayman Legends anyone?), or no version on Microsoft's platforms. Period.

NFS on the Wii U came out ~5 months after the original did. Yes, Criterion put a lot of soul into the port, and it not only looked better than the last-gen console versions, but performed better too, but the problem is that 5-month gap. Anyone who is a fan of the series will have purchased it long ago. EA should have seen this coming (or maybe they had?).

Let's also look at Crysis 3. A game nearly finished, but got the plug pulled by EA because of "dealings with Nintendo". Seriously, it's like something went horribly wrong between EA and Nintendo that EA began sabotaging their own IPs with regard to Nintendo platforms to force them out of the "unprecedented partnership" that was made so long ago.

Can Nintendo be to blame? Perhaps, but really, I think this is on EA's shoulders first and they should be the ones to explain what happened. I did buy NFS:MW on the Wii U, but via Origin's 50% off mix-up. I wasn't about to pay full-price for a 5-month old game while all other versions were prices between 50-75% off elsewhere.

SecondServing

#9

SecondServing said:

Nintendo is so arrogant, it kills me. Bless this dude for all his hard effort in actually putting effort into this game. When I make my first game, I'll be sure to skip Wii U.

WiiULoveSquid

#10

WiiULoveSquid said:

The larger industry revolves around its week one launches so no surprise they withheld marketing.

Potentially right as they were developing the game there was some falling out between management of the two companies or at least the lines of communication between managements in Japan and EA in US could have suffered around the WiiU launch as some devs have stated so already on a development level.

Go to show the huge amount of oversight and possibly even a bit of arrogance of Nintendo towards western publishers at the time. Of course we know western publishers love getting exclusivity money and other freebies from the platform holders and Nintendo likely was not having any of that kind of business.

Nintendo runs a much different ship than the other console businesses. The resulting discrepancies are felt on all levels I'm sure, as this dev's experience seems to indicate. Nintendo just can't seem to see eye to eye very long with the western industry whenever they attempt to bridge gaps.

Also Mr. Ward could learn some diplomacy when talking to people who potentially will support his new business. No need to act like your former employers to others when in the position of a distributor yourself.

SecondServing

#11

SecondServing said:

Oh yeah EA sucks too. This is why I believe eventually AAA studios will cease to exist. EA treats their employees like trash.

ICHIkatakuri

#12

ICHIkatakuri said:

Most Wanted is one of the best games on the Wii U. why more people didnt buy it is probably because, although the wii u version is superior, folk who really wanted the game got it on another system a few months earlier.

SCAR392

#13

SCAR392 said:

That's why I think most of the games companies ported weren't necessarily put out with intents to do well. Even though Ubisoft has supported the console the most, they expected sales, while I think the effort put in place by EA was never expected to sell.

ME3, Madden, FIFA, and NFS couldn't have been expected to do well, because of the given situation.

This story is about a guy that was not acknowledged the way he wanted to be, and nothing more. They got paid, and that's where everyone should be drawing the line.

JeffreyG

#14

JeffreyG said:

Dang, could he please calm down before answering questions? Nintendo never really does marketing for 3rd party games. Nintendo of Europe was also supposed to do the distribution and marketing for Sonic Lost World. And not a single ad was seen... So I don't see why Nintendo would market this one. It's a great game, but that doesn't give it more rights than others.

Frapp

#15

Frapp said:

All too common in the industry, unfortunately. I feel for him.
Loved your game, Alex, and I totally appreciate the effort your team put into creating one of the Wii U's finest games. Hope someone at Nintendo reads your tweets and comes forward to discuss what went wrong and what can be done in the future.

Senario

#16

Senario said:

@Wesbert This is true. The hype machine marketing only works for initial releases of a game or old games with HD remasters. I can't imagine it would be cost effective to market it. He seems like he just thinks about the coding and wanted marketing despite there not being much to market.

JustAnotherUser

#17

JustAnotherUser said:

He raises valid concerns but of course Nintendo wouldn't do the publishing duties, EA was the publisher.
It would be like moaning Dark Souls on PC was garbage, very close to it, and that Microsoft should start caring about game developers.

WiiULoveSquid

#18

WiiULoveSquid said:

@JeffreyG Nintendo traditionally as leaned on its retail partners to advertise its own goods. Third party content can then be either advertised by the third parties or "discovered" once that consumer is informed and seeks out Nintendo's own offerings. That idea seems to have stopped working so well when the WiiU launched and continues to fail them to this day with the Wii U. Add on all the negative click-bait media and it's a right cluster cuss.

Peach64

#19

Peach64 said:

Nintendo didn't have to do anything, but you'd think they would. After a launch filled with poor ports of 360/PS3 games seriously damaged the Wii U's image, you'd think they'd want to show off that their console CAN out perform those systems. I bet most people have no idea the Wii U version is superior as they'd have never seen footage of it.

It's not really a surprise though. Nintendo have been jerks to 3rd parties for almost 30 years now. It would be nice to think they're going to devs right now to make sure their next console is a device-friendly as possible, but I doubt it.

Discostew

#20

Discostew said:

We have good reason to criticize Nintendo for failing to market W101 because Nintendo was involved with its development, and I hope they think twice about doing a repeat with Bayonetta 2. We see them marketing the crap out of MK8, and that's good and all, but they can't just pick and choose from what they are publishing to promote. They gotta promote all the stuff they are involved in, and EA should do the same, which should have included promoting the Wii U version of this game and not thrown it on someone else's shoulders.

WiiULoveSquid

#21

WiiULoveSquid said:

@Frapp unfortunately the right parties for righting any of this or anything that could be related to this, sit in offices in Kyoto and I really do think the boundaries of language and geography still affect Nintendo when it comes to the larger video game industry. Yes, the internet has come along to potentially close all traditional distances, but Nintendo is slow to change its culture I'm just gonna guess. It's has to be admitted that in the past it has served them given their financial capital. But now with bad sales in the modern tech industry, maybe it's starting to be a bad thing.

Nintendo's decision to build essentially a "health console" is telling of a few things regarding their slow to change culture. Rather than revolutionize its game making business so it can actually compete in the industry, they'd rather get into a new industry and make money there. Whether it's good or bad in the end remains to be seen.

boynerdrambling

#23

boynerdrambling said:

What a whiny man. The game tanking is purely at EA feet. Its not Nintendo's job to advertise other companies games. At least he did the smart thing and left EA.

Farmboy74

#25

Farmboy74 said:

I think it's obvious that Nintendo need to build better relationships with western third party developers. As for marketing this game that responsibility falls on EA's shoulders they were publishing it after all.

whodatninja

#26

whodatninja said:

What a whiny douchebag. No wonder he was fired!

This seems more the fault of EA than Nintendo. (It's obvious who the bigger bad is of those two...)

Frapp

#27

Frapp said:

@WiiULoveGBA
I agree and disagree with some of your points. Fundamentally, though, Nintendo have stated that they are changing their core business model of the last 30-odd years of selling games for 30 to 50 dollars, to a flexible price point model. That's pretty revolutionary in the video games industry.
Your last sentence - that's always been the case in business, of course. Nintendo may have made some decisions that have us head-scratching at times, but they've ridden out all previous storms and generally stay very profitable. I feel very positive for their future.

Goginho

#28

Goginho said:

This guy is real classy and diplomatic. Oh no, hard times!! Well, we all have them. You gotta remain professional, and in this business especially. Companies have different expectations and rules, and it's not always going to go your way. But w/e, I wish the dude and his lack of decency the best of luck in the future.

Besides, if you delay the Wii U version to perfect it (I appreciate that, for one), then don't expect all daisies, since you know ..the game would have been out on other consoles already. So why does Nintendo get this kind of treatment and other platforms don't. I mean, look at when Ubisoft delayed a completely finished product of Rayman, meant to be an exclusive on the Wii U, only to make it come out for all platforms simultaneously. Why couldn't you have held off on the other consoles' versions to be released at the same time as the Wii U's version?

BlackStar9000

#29

BlackStar9000 said:

@Wesbert XB1 and PS4 are steadly getting old PS3 and 360 versions of games that are currently selling (tomb raider: definitive edition) so why couldnt the Wii U? Cause Nintendo has been cheap as hell about its marketing and advertising all around, so far they have only marketed 2 games that werent Nintendo made, Sonic lost world and a brief snip of rayman legends during the upgrade to Wii U over the holidays campaign, No mention of ANYTHING ELSE! Also, Nintendo seems to think that advertising its games for only a month or two is a good idea, I STILL commercials for COD Ghosts and GTA V occasionally, believe or not, a TON of people still dont know know Skip about the Wii U, Nintendo...WTF!

BlackStar9000

#30

BlackStar9000 said:

The last time I checked, Indies get to SELF-PUBLISH their games on the Wii U, this man is understandably butt-hurt. However, a huge portion of being a developer is the passion for making great games for people to play, hence his passion has cooled and he is lookin to get paid vs making games for all. Sad cause I brought NFS at full retail when it released and my kids and I love it, but the lack of local multiplayer hurts a lot.

Blizzaga

#31

Blizzaga said:

Need For Speed: Most Wanted U is an awesome game. It's really a shame that it didn't do so well.

CaviarMeths

#32

CaviarMeths said:

So I get his frustration, really, but he's taking this way too personally. He can self-publish on the Wii U and indies have been successful so far on that platform. That's no issue. This is about his own pride and hurt feelings. And if he wants to be successful as an indie developer, he can check his baggage at the door.

Besides, it's not like Criterion were left hanging with the bill or anything. They were paid for their work. So your game didn't have great sales, that sucks, but that's EA and Nintendo's loss, not yours.

To be fair to both EA and Nintendo though, this game would have been nearly impossible to market successfully. Just like most of the Wii U's launch and post-launch releases, it was just a port of a game that anyone who cared already had on their PS3 or 360.

Marshi

#33

Marshi said:

Wow,what a mess. On the one side,im with ward as I tried to buy nfs at retail and it just wasnt there for around 2 weeks. Whoever is to blame its unlikely to be the devs,they just make the game,they dont market or distribute it. But then again theres the whole issue of making a game for a system thats been out for 9 month on other systems... Honestly I dont think there is any inocent party in all this. Nintendo clearly dosnt care enough about 3rd party support. E.A were clearly butt-hurt over the whole origin saga and seemed willing to sacrifice one game in order to prove some kind of point about the wiiu. And the devs were kinda doomed to begin with making a racing game without all the dlc ,not to mention the game had been out for months on other systems

Gerbwmu

#34

Gerbwmu said:

Be pissed off........but don't be stupid. Starting a business is hard enough without throwing millions of potential customers away.

shaneoh

#35

shaneoh said:

Seen NFS plenty of times on the front page of the eShop. Outside of Directs that is the only advertising I see out of Nintendo. So from my perspective they got just as much as everyone else.

FullbringIchigo

#36

FullbringIchigo said:

I don't think the 5 month difference helped either

I also think the same thing will happen to watch dogs most people who own more than one system will not wait, I know I'm not

FLUX_CAPACITOR

#37

FLUX_CAPACITOR said:

@SecondServing make sure to tell everyone that's what you're doing so I can make sure to not buy it on another platform. That is if you actually make your first game. Which I doubt you will.

andrea987

#38

andrea987 said:

It's an awesome game. I had the ps3 version before, preordered the U one, it's miles better. Everyone that has the U and likes racing games should buy it, simple as that.
Having said that, we all know Nintendo ain't great at marketing anyway (yes they need to improve), and of course blame in this case rest solely on EA.

FLUX_CAPACITOR

#39

FLUX_CAPACITOR said:

@CaviarMeths that's pretty much everything I was going to say. I don't understand what about this is so personal to him. No one said it was a bad game. The reviews I read said it was great. And it was. It just seems like EA and Nintendo got in a fight and this game was a casualty.

Xaltheron

#40

Xaltheron said:

VGPress: Brings up a perfectly valid point
Alex Ward: Avoids answering by attacking a spelling mistake
VGPress: Reiterates the point
Alex Ward: Yawn

Real professional there >.>

AJWolfTill

#41

AJWolfTill said:

Jeez guys, this guy is a developer he doesn't work in PR, some randomer was hassling him about a business decision he made and he justified himself. Nintendo should have marketed this since it came out at a time there was **** all else on the release schedule. I don't enjoy racing games but it was clear that this project was a labour of love and that the developers really did far more than they needed to do to make this the best possible product they could. This is Nintendo's fault for not stepping up to give this a fair shot. As a result this just sends the message to other third party studios not to bother making Wii U games.

Frapp

#42

Frapp said:

@Gerbwmu
Yep, that's the truth. Hopefully someone will have a word with him. However, from my own experience of working in media is that creative people seldom make good businessmen and women.

Like so many people, if he wants to get on he really needs to wean himself off Twitter. Had a look and he's tweeted about 40 times in the last day.

FLUX_CAPACITOR

#43

FLUX_CAPACITOR said:

@BlackStar9000 unfortunately, nfs games never have co-op. At least the ones I've played. But at least there's the co-driver mode on most wanted u, which can be entertaining, especially when you split the control duties in half.

banacheck

#44

banacheck said:

What i would say to dev's that put passion into there games is totally drop Nintendo, a business is a two way thing not one. Anyway in this day and age 3rd party's don't need Nintendo, there are plenty of other platforms that actually cares about there own platform.

FLUX_CAPACITOR

#45

FLUX_CAPACITOR said:

@AJWolfTill he's now an indie developer, so he's going to have to do better at pr if he wants to be successful. And you're wrong to say this is Nintendo's fault. They might have done well to step up and offer to help with marketing the game, but it's EA's own game and they didn't do jack crap in the way of promoting it. The blame should fall on them first.

Makyurax

#46

Makyurax said:

NFS is a good game on wiiu and i know how frustrating can be to see their work have no support in selling so i can agree wit him but actually EA was actually boycotting Nintendo like you can see with the suicide ME3 conversion and i don't think that Nintendo had to pay to promote a game that even its own publisher doesn't care to sell.
However even if NFS is a really good game i will never buy a game where to play together with friends i had to sent them home, offline multiplayer is a necessity in some; i've made my best friends thanks to videogame thanks to local multiplayer and Arcade but now they are making it as an isolation factor with teir online only multiplayer.

Artwark

#49

Artwark said:

@BlackStar9000 they do the 3DS commercials right but not on this one?????

Still these third party devs make mediocre games at best. Even if the publishers give a lot of money on these devs, in the end, it would still be a huge mess. Take Metroid Other M for example or how about Wario: Master of Disguise.

antdickensAdmin

#50

antdickens said:

I've always been a fan of games by Ward, Burnout is one of my most loved series of all time. It's a shame to hear their effort was not rewarded on Wii U, dispite it being the best version of Most Wanted. I feel his frustration.

JumpnShootMan

#51

JumpnShootMan said:

I think the larger point is that Nintendo needs to spend some marketing cash on games they don't publish. Did anybody see any ads telling people that CoD was on WiiU? Splinter Cell? Rayman? Assasins Creed? I didn't. But I sure as hell saw those commercials for PS3/4 and Xbox. If the studios don't advertise their games for WiiU, and Nintendo doesn't, and the in-store displays suck (which they do), how is anybody going to know that AAA titles are on WiiU?

GuSolarFlare

#53

GuSolarFlare said:

well that's the first thing I was told in my first programming class:
"programmers are the most blamed species in the world, if any problem happens in anything related to the program, even if it's the user's fault for doing what is excplicitly warned to not be done, it will instantly be their fault and their mothers will be called B****es."
and I'm studying to be a computer engineer so I think people specialized in programming should be even more aware of the situation.

RedYoshi999

#54

RedYoshi999 said:

Man, that must suck having to purchase the game you've worked on for months. Should at least get a free copy! ;)

In all seriousness, it's sad how badly Most Wanted U performed. I downloaded it even at the EA premium price tag and it really is a wonderful game. There are clearly many factors out of his control which caused this mess, but I don't see most of the fault lying with Nintendo, and now being an indie developer, he shouldn't be holding grudges. It's not like Nintendo is known for marketing their own games, let alone a 5 months late 3rd party port which the original publisher failed to market.

Einherjar

#55

Einherjar said:

Again, what is nintendo supposed to do ? Its a 3rd party game, that already has a developer (criterion) and a publisher (EA). So, they expected nintendo to do the marketing for them ? Thats EAs job as a publisher, they are respnsible for making people know of the game. If nintendo needs to market every freaking game on their systems themselfes, they can pretty much close the doors and burn their money instead.
Also, what did you expect from EA ? Seriously, what did he expect ? EA is known for pulling stunts like that, that they care more about money than their employees and youre still baffled that they treated you like this ?

What i also find is pretty ironic, is, that its almost always the big AAA studios that complain about nintendo, while the medium to small studios praise them.
Also, studios that had success on the WiiU arent complaining at all (Platinum for example) while anything EA complains the heck out of them because their lazy, crippled ports didnt sell.
Like i said, if anyone can explain me why nintendo is to blame for marketing and disc printing and distribution problems and what job EA had as a publisher, id apriciate it.

Daisaku36

#56

Daisaku36 said:

I'm sure if some of you took the time to read this, he scolded EA just as much as he derided Nintendo. Seriously, people need to stop blaming JUST Nintendo, as if they're the bad guy all the time. I understand they're not perfect, but it's ludicrous to act like this guy was attacking Nintendo the whole way through the exchange. Of course, trolls see the headline, read a few lines, and comment on how terrible Nintendo is...

Besides, the guy is a bit delusional when it comes to Indie games on Wii U. Nintendo was terrible with smaller devs in the Wii era, but they've turned it around a lot. I bet if someone like Dan Adelman or Emily Rogers hooked up with this guy they'd get some kind of nice stew going. And while the Wii situation shouldn't matter because it was last gen, like some posters here opine, it does because Nintendo is still repairing its relationship with Indies, to a degree.

SanderEvers

#57

SanderEvers said:

@GuSilverFlame You are 1000% correct. And sadly, when all things go right, programmers still get the short end of the stick. It's one of the most thankless jobs you can possibly do.

But it's also one of the best jobs. But that's just for me, since I am a programmer / application engineer.

Lord

#58

Lord said:

Looks like EA has burnt this fellow to a crisp hopefully this new start will restore his faith in quality gaming and over time he may realise that the path to success lies on a Nintendo platform. Unless he thinking FPS then we don't need you anyway.

divinelite

#59

divinelite said:

@Wesbert sony will tell you when borderlands 2 vita released
Or tomb raider ps4, ff14 ps4, diablo3 ps4, and more ps3 which later port to ps4

Well I respect nintendo is godly for 1st party but for 3rd they messed up

JumpnShootMan

#60

JumpnShootMan said:

@Einherjar I certainly don't think Nintendo should foot the bill for all the marketing for third-party published titles. But would it hurt to run a few ads for WiiU specifically and also mention the newest 3rd party game that's available for the system?

Emblem

#61

Emblem said:

@Einherjar People are just ignorant, whenever any dev or whoever criticizes Nintendo people jump on the band wagon if its a legitimate gripe or not.

People don't understand the business, 3rd parties pay for a licence to dev/publish on Nintendo systems, then Nintendo take a small portion of each sale. Why would Nintendo spend money to market a 3rd party game (especially since they are quite stingy with their own titles) outside of the normal Nintendo directs/unleashed/youtube? (which they did use to showcase the game).

I don't know about the states but in the UK this game was released with very low stock and hardly anyone had it causing the price to hover between £55-£45 for months (Compared to standard £40-£30 for Wii U games on release). By this time the same game was available on other platforms for about £15.

JumpnShootMan

#62

JumpnShootMan said:

@Emblem To answer your question, why would Nintendo spend money to market a 3rd party game? Because in doing so they can market the WiiU. If it's true that software sells hardware, then people need to realize that when the buy a WiiU, they're not just buying something they can play Nintendo games on. Market the WiiU and plug the newest AAA 3rd party game at the same time. And in doing so you can show off Gamepad features that the other systems don't have.

Marshi

#63

Marshi said:

@divinelite I second that. Nintendo MUST work harder on promoting 3rd party games. E.A are the ones at full fault for the disc printing and marketing. But as you say,if we saw wiiu adverts like sony do where you clearly see the game box next to a ps3/4 at the end, then im sure 3rd parties would still be around becouse joe public would kmw that they can buy mario AND nfs,assassins creed etc for the wiiu

Einherjar

#64

Einherjar said:

@Emblem We (germany) had a pretty wealthy stock of that game, but also with a ridiculous price tag. And guess what ? I also was one of the insane people who bought it just to show support.
Also, i dont think that its a matter of "understanding the business" but rather a case of common sense.
An author woulndt blame the bookstore because his book was only printed in a limited quantity.

@JumpnShootMan Well, they did. Like @Emblem said, the game was featured in several videos made by nintendo to show the general lineup of the system, regardless of it being 1st, 2nd or 3rd party software. Anything beyond that is EAs responsibility. If they fail to market their own game, its not nintendos fault.
And to be honest, EA should have enough money to run a massive add campaign for the game. My best guess is, that they were ashamed of the fact that they neglected the system as a whole and the WiiU version of NFS turned out to be the definitive one. Marketing it as such would bring up questions why other games like Mass Effect turned out to be lackluster when the system CAN indeed bring up the best versions of a game.
And we all know that EAs opinion about nintendo in general shifts to whatever is most beneficial to them at the moment.

Instead of complaining about people blaming the developer and not the publisher, he should also stop blaming the manufacturer of the console and instead, also focus on the failed job of EA.

To you last comment: But is was a port of a game that was already out on other systems. The marketing campaign to convince people to buy this game again needed to be massive. And with news like "no plans on releasing DLC" shortly after, there was no way to do so.
If EA doesnt want to support their own products, i dont see what nintendo could do instead without wasting tons of money on a game, abandoned by the own publisher at release.
You see nintendo do such a thing for new games (Bayonetta 2, completely financed by nintendo) but doing it for "late arrival ports" would be a waste of money.

ajcismo

#65

ajcismo said:

Well, Nintendo's marketing strategy as a whole has been a stinking pile of compost for quite a while. Mr. Ward shouldn't feel left out.

JumpnShootMan

#66

JumpnShootMan said:

@Einherjar I agree with your points on NFS. Most of the failure for that game should fall on EA because of everything you say. I don't think anything that Nintendo could have done would have "saved" that game. All I'm trying to say is that in general I wish Nintendo would do more marketing and also include the (few) major 3rd party releases that come their way. Especially when the ports are good and arrive on time.

Einherjar

#67

Einherjar said:

@JumpnShootMan It simply isnt their job and responsibility to do so. Thats the publishers part, and they are contractually obliged to do so, thats basicly how they get THEIR money. If they want to see money, they have to market their software.
Look at it that way: Nintendo spends money on marketing NFS, every sale nets them next to no money. NFS, being a port of an older game, is by no means a system seller, and there is no way you could market it as such. So, nintendo wouldnt profit from increased console sales.
Now you have EA. They get a decent chunk of the income from game sales. Also, since nintendo is marketing the game, they dont have to spend any money on marketing / advertisement. EA would simply act as a man in the middle, a money sponge. Earining by doing nothing really.
Criterion would end up as the looser in both cases while EA is the grand winner. And thats simply why nintendo doesnt get involved in marketing games that they dont publish themselfes.

Pikachupwnage

#68

Pikachupwnage said:

It's absurd to expect Nintendo to market a late port of this sort of game. Its always the third parties/publishers job to advertise their game unless Nintendo is the one publishing it.

Nintendo should've shown it in a direct though but if he wanted them to find TV ads...lol.

Nintenjoe64

#69

Nintenjoe64 said:

I bought it from CeX because it sold out everywhere and it is still the best racing game on Wii U so I have no regrets. He should be happy that Nintendo and EA made it possible for this game to be sold out in every major game store :)

It's not Nintendo's responsibility to market EA's games, especially ones with limited appeal like late ports, and I am sure that most devs are under no illusion about what kind of marketing support Nintendo will provide. Ubisoft are no different to this when it comes to Wii U. They haven't helped any of their Wii U iterations of games.

On the other hand, I think Nintendo need to literally fire everyone involved in UK marketing so far. They are either being completely lazy, completely inept or have their hands tied by Iwata and are not allowed to market sensibly. Fingers crossed they've saved all their marketing for a GTAV style hype blow-out for MK8 and Zelda! I'm also kind of worried that every week of bad sales takes a dungeon or side-quest out of the new Zelda.

WiiULoveSquid

#71

WiiULoveSquid said:

Who in their right mind would have wanted Nintendo to do their marketing? Like, they can barely market their own "system sellers" without people shouting "Fail!" lol.

Mr. Ward will hopefully not let the Twitter/social media hordes get to him. Let's all remember what happened to Phil Fish.

Beetlejuice

#72

Beetlejuice said:

Every time @Damo posts a flamebait article, I like to envision him putting his feet up on his desk and doing this as he watches the comment total soar...

Untitled

WiiULoveSquid

#73

WiiULoveSquid said:

@JohnRedcorn Ya there's no competition at NL for who's articles bring all the kids to the yard. Although Thomas got in there with that Watch Dogs news, that was nicely served

datamonkey

#74

datamonkey said:

Expecting Nintendo to market this game was maybe a little optimistic considering they hardly even marketed the damn console let alone a 3rd party game.

I'm afraid stories like this are probably common and just unknown to us. This is partly the reason the Wii U is in the situation it's in and sorry to say but it's only Nintendos fault.

eaglebob345

#75

eaglebob345 said:

@Damo An port of an old game should get what kind of support from Nintendo exactly? EA is the one one published it. "B***h and moan at the publishers not the developers." He said that. He was a developer, EA PUBLISHED it. Wii U was just the host console for an old port. Sounds like Mr. Ward, as bad as I feel for him, is not even heeding his own advice.

OGGamer

#77

OGGamer said:

I see a few people on here saying "you should buy it it's a good game" . Well I bought it a week ago (6 bucks with coupon at gamestop) and already returned it . It's a good looking game with great sound , especially if you have surround sound . The problem is the controls . They suck , really truly suck in my opinion of course . With all it's speed Fzero gx controlled waaaaay better than this turd .
Alex Ward who just started his own studio , in other words his own business , needs to take a course in business ethics and customer service . His comments indicate that his comfort zone is behind a keyboard isolated from other human beings therefore making it difficult for him to communicate as a proper business man . His juvenile statements are visible to any and all potential customers and business partners . Hopefully he considers hiring a spokesman for his studio .

aaronsullivan

#79

aaronsullivan said:

Nintendo was probably feeling bullish on Wii U at the time they came to ask for some marketing support. Nintendo could have included it in its commercials and promotions with little cost or effort and, frankly it SHOULD have. The game showcased GamePad advantages nicely it was a third party, non-kiddie game. It should have been prominent in the marketing mix.

From my vantage point it was a mistake. Sadly, as @jdarrell says, besides still feeling okay about the launch (right before it dropped to almost nothing) Nintendo was probably looking at it as an EA game, knowing EA was going to drop all future support.

Sucks all around.

aaronsullivan

#80

aaronsullivan said:

@Einherjar
That all sounds great until you factor in how badly Wii U needed to succeed and how hard it failed at generating momentum and sales. That game could have helped the install base, which Nintendo should have been laser-focused on.

Supporting partners and third parties was in Nintendo's interest even in the short term and certainly in the long term. No money comes from a dead platform.

Beetlejuice

#81

Beetlejuice said:

@Damo

Excellent example. Comparing the biggest and most anticipated game of the past several years to a niche release of a 6 month old racing game seems like a valid comparison. Nintendo should have absolutely supported Need For Speed with an aggressive marketing campaign costing tens of millions of dollars.

Wesbert

#82

Wesbert said:

@divinelite TombRaider Ultimate Edition is what I was referring to as GOTY oder Collectors Editions, Fifa is a bad example since people keep buying it year for year anyway despite only minute changes, so obviously the FIFA brand is the driving sales force behind it. Diablo 3 was the first foray onto consoles and similarly Borderlands 2 Vita is the first portable version, so both add new features and appeal to entirely new markets. My point still stands..

TruenoGT

#83

TruenoGT said:

I think there's enough blame to go around, but clearly there was some existing rift between EA and Nintendo before NFS came out. In this context, I doubt Nintendo was real eager to help EA out. Besides, it's not like EA is a small, fledgling publisher and NFS isn't a big ticket, mainstream franchise which (on paper) would need much help from Nintendo. I think promoting this game could have helped Nintendo in hindsight, but I can see why Nintendo would have told EA to bite it at the time.

DamoAdmin

#84

Damo said:

@JohnRedcorn It's all relative...at the time of release, NFS was one of the biggest AAA third party titles on the Wii U. "Niche"? Hardly.

Drobotic

#85

Drobotic said:

The problem with third parties is that they often don't see the Wii U as a next gen or worthwhile console.They think they are forced to use the GamePad or don't have enough power with the system.A lot of third parties are running scared from making or publishing games for the Wii U because Nintendo cannot market their own system outside of Japan and get better sales from doing so.Nintendo should show how much power and what options and capabilities the console has before they start digging their own grave.It can't go on with limited promotion of the games,the system,and third parties just refusing to make games on it because of their misconceptions of the consoles because Nintendo isn't showing what you can do with the Wii U.But to be honest,the Wii didn't have a lot of third party games,but it still sold because of the great exclusives and the new controller it had.So for the good of the company,they need to get it together.

Einherjar

#86

Einherjar said:

@aaronsullivan How could a random racing game that already existed on other platforms, that stated from the beginning that it wont get any more support (DLC) and that wasnt a "oh god i have to own this!" title to begin with.
What could have turned the tables would have been the release of the complete Mass Effect trilogy. 3 on WiiU is by far the best port, having the whole series in that quality would definitly be a slaes argument, but not NFS. I didnt quite capture burnout fans and NFS fans already had other games to look out for.
And everyone is acting like the WiiU has already sunk. The thing exists, nintendo has money, major games are coming. Calm down and just enjoy the system.
The best marketing is word of mouth and NO ONE will ever be interested in a system whos own fanbase is a bunch of whiners and pessimists.
We all should advertise the system and not cry about spilled milk all the time. If EA fs up, so be it. There is plenty of other stuff to enjoy. Just show people that this stuff is worth it. You cant complain about the lack of marketing from nintendo if the whole "doom and gloom" community is working against it.

jdarrell

#88

jdarrell said:

Plus they were counting on future Sonic/Sega games, not future EA games, so why downplay Sonic Racing Transformed which was still getting a lot of good words at the time?

BertoFlyingFox

#89

BertoFlyingFox said:

What can I say here really. I'm not a developer and I dont aspire to be connected with the video game industry in any other way than a consumer. I dont really dig racing games, unless they're couch co-op kart racers. I dont really like anything that studio has put out, just because an old game is coming to WiiU it wont inspire a sale from me....no matter how many advertisements one company or another puts out.

They were working hard on something EA didnt give a crap about, taking it down the ladder and then placing it on Nintendo's shoulders wouldnt really inspire much from Nintendo. The circumstances were pretty specific and it just didnt work out.

I'm not really interested in anything this guy puts out, especially with that attitude. He seems comfortable being an adult infant.

Sinister

#90

Sinister said:

Why should Nintendo help EA market a game? EA is one of the biggest publishers in the market. They do not need help from Nintendo.

C-Olimar

#91

C-Olimar said:

Totally understand where he's coming from. However, I don't think he really listened to the other guy's argument when he said some games sell better on Wii U and 3DS than bigger platforms such as steam. If he's doing indie games, Nintendo platforms should be on his radar.

taffy

#92

taffy said:

I'm seeing a few comments like "oh but it came out 5 months after the original versions" to which I ask why did Mass Effect 2 and Elder Scrolls: Oblivion sell so well on the PS3?

eaglebob345

#93

eaglebob345 said:

@Damo It doesn't change the fact that it was an old port. Also, Sony and Microsoft are huge corporations, way larger than Nintendo is. They should be able to afford things like this. Because of all of these bad dealings, Sony is suffering because of it. Sony plans on laying off 5000 workers by March 2015, that is 3.4% of Sony's work force (no big deal, right?), 5% of Microsoft's work force (no big deal, right?), and a whopping 70% of Nintendo's work force (now it's a big deal). 5000 is a lot of jobs, a lot of families, and a lot of layoffs, yet people try to casually smooth it over for the next Nintendo or even Microsoft hate story. If we are all going to step into the ring and debate why Nintendo is so frugal, we need all of the facts.

They are a big company, don't get me wrong, but they are not at all large enough to go up against Sony or Microsoft in sheer influence through money. They can afford to make a powerful system, but they would rather not bleed money because of it. Sony did that with the PS3 and their credit is now in the toilet and the company is spiraling towards bankruptcy. We as the consumers must understand that Microsoft and Sony in the video game market is what is destroying it. EA and some other third parties feel that they can fall back on console manufacturers, because of all the money hats, but it will all come to an end, eventually. Also, GTAV>>>NFS, but how would they market GTAV if it was miraculously ported over the the Wii U? "GTAV: it's old and the novelty is gone, out now!".

P.S. Even EA has a larger workforce than Nintendo, so they should still be taking care of their own marketing.

Beetlejuice

#94

Beetlejuice said:

@taffy

Because there were 70+ million PS3 owners at that time who could potentially buy those games, and when NFS came out on the Wii-U, many people who owned that system likely already had either a PS3/360 and could have bought the game for those consoles before then.

Banker-Style

#95

Banker-Style said:

The game was great, and I understand his fustraition as the game was really hard to get in the UK.
Sounds like like they were stuck in the middle during the hole of this.

eaglebob345

#96

eaglebob345 said:

@taffy Mass Effect is greater than NFS can ever hope to be. Mass Effect 3 on Wii U was sabotaged by the announcement of the trilogy and release on other platforms only a month later. "You can get one, or 3-in-1". No brainer. If the trilogy was on Wii U, I am pretty sure we would have seen better results. ME3 on the Wii U sold as much as the trilogy did on PC (120,000) and half as much as the trilogy did on the PS3 (240,000) and XB360 (240,000). These third parties have been shafting the Wii U with old ports and half finished games since release, after spending 3+ years of shovelware on the Wii, and they expect us to trust their quality? I feel for Mr. Ward, but he had been backing the wrong horse, part of the lying team, and now won't even heed his own advice. EA published NFS:MWU, so his b******g and moaning should be aimed at them and he should not have even mentioned Nintendo. He was in bed with EA, with the selling out of his company Criterion, so if anything he should be blaming himself.

Squashy

#97

Squashy said:

I agree with you @Damo, it's a real shame that Nintendo didn't give them some support and special treatment with this game seeing as it stands out from the other multiplatform games on the Wii U as having had proper effort poured into it to make sure it got the best out of the system, and therefore shows off its superior graphical abilities and unique features compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360.

By giving Criterion the star treatment, it would have been a message to all third parties that if you give the Wii U the love it deserves, we'll make it worth doing!

Wolfgabe

#98

Wolfgabe said:

First off why would you expect Nintendo to pour a lot of marketing dollars in to a 5 month old port? I can see several reasons why NFS MW U bombed
Overpriced 60 dollars is just too much for a 5 month old port
Not supported well enough
Bad timing When the game came out EA was not exactly on the best of terms with Wii U owners.

He also seems kind of oblivious to the fact that indies can self publish on Wii U

Beetlejuice

#99

Beetlejuice said:

@Damo

If it's all "relative", lets be real then...

GTAV was the most hyped game in recent memory, and was releasing on the 360/PS3 with a combined total of somewhere around 140 million potential buyers. It was also considered a "system seller", hence why Sony spent tens of millions to secure and produce a bundle featuring the PS3 and GTAV. It was a sure fire guarantee that it was going to sell EXTREMELY well, and move hardware too, so neither Microsoft or Sony hesitated to invest their own money into advertising, as they were guaranteed to make it all back and then some.

Now, lets compare to NFS on Wii-U...

A six month old game (which as I mentioned in another post, was already available to well over 100 million consumers before it even released for the Nintendo) releasing on a console with an install base of around 3.5 million at that time.

  • EA didn't have any faith in the game selling well, so they didn't bother promoting it heavily themselves.
  • No racing game in recent memory that hasn't had "Mario" or "Sonic" in the title has sold worth a damn on a Nintendo console, let alone one with a miniscule install base at the time like the Wii-U had.
  • The game was never going to sell well to the "hardcore" Nintendo fan, which at the time it was released, were the primary owners of the Wii-U.
  • The game was never going to be a "system seller" and help move Wii-U's, so why would Nintendo invest their own millions in promoting a game which they would see very little return on?

According to VGChartz (ya ya...find me a better site with sales numbers then...), GTAV has sold over 30 millions copies across PS3/360 while NFS has sold around 120K on Wii-U. With a straight face, can you still say you think it was a valid comparison?

Nintendo didn't owe this game anything in the way of free promotion other than a quick mention in a couple of Nintendo Directs, which I believe it got.

This game was DOA the moment it was released, and no matter how much you seemed to personally enjoy it, it was most certainly a "niche" title on a Nintendo console, as the sales numbers certainly attest.

JumpnShootMan

#101

JumpnShootMan said:

@Einherjar I don't think we're talking about the same thing anymore, really. I don't care about NFS, and none of what I'm saying pertains to it specifically. I really just care about things going forward. I love my WiiU, and I want it to succeed, and I try to convince everyone I know to get one. As someone without a PS4 or Xbox1 (and with no plans to get one) I really want the install base to take off so that 3rd parties have no choice but to support WiiU.

So I'll try to say again what I've been saying all along. Nintendo shouldn't be running the marketing campaign for 3rd party games. But they should be marketing the WiiU to multiple audiences and trying to change perceptions that it's a system for families and kids only. Like it or not, that means running ads with the games. Or at least having a partnership so that the publisher will put your system's name in the ad. Something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tC48d6h2Ko For my tastes, this example isn't system-specfic enough, but they could easily put a part in there about WiiU gamepad features and hype it up that way. UbiSoft (or whoever) pays for most of the ad, Nintendo kicks in some for the WiiU shout out. Win-win. Nintendo would have to pick the right games to do it with (again, good ports that arrive on time), but they could make it work.

HanSolo57

#103

HanSolo57 said:

I love love loved this game for 6 weeks from day 1. Then my mileage wouldn't save anymore. I called and called support and they haven't fixed it yet. Sad really. It had many of the COD players attention. I highly recommend this game.

Hernandez

#106

Hernandez said:

Let's face the facts: Nintendo has nothing that can directly compete with a Forza or a Gran Turismo. Need For Speed was (is) the closest thing and it's a superb racing game, in my humble opinion.

The fact that it didn't sell just shows me that most (key word) Ninty fans only care about first party titles. Developers are well aware of this and Nintendo has done nothing to help them change that sad reality.

Six months old or not, I still think it should have been given the "system seller treatment" by Nintendo.

Squashy

#107

Squashy said:

@JohnRedcorn Wow you argue your point very well haha. Although it's basically certain that this would never have sold like hot cakes, by showing lots of support for a beautifully ported game it would have been great advertising for the Wii U and it would have shown third parties that they'll be helped if they're willing to make the effort

DamoAdmin

#108

Damo said:

@JohnRedcorn Not sure why you've gone to all that trouble to source sales figures when I was only using GTA5 as an example off the top of my head. Sony and MS have given marketing support to titles which have sold far less, so my point stands.

If you honestly think Nintendo doesn't need to help out third parties with high profile titles, then that's fair enough - but that comes around to the age-old debate about whether or not Nintendo needs third party titles to sell its systems. It certainly wouldn't have done the Wii U any harm for NFS to have had a little more exposure at launch. It just sank, despite being the best version of the game. The blame is more EA's, but hearing that Nintendo refused to help out disappointing, given the circumstances the Wii U finds itself in.

Einherjar

#109

Einherjar said:

@JumpnShootMan I never said that your point is wrong. But to be honest, i think its a regiona problem. We have plenty of advertisement over here, from handouts, cardboard cutouts, banners to dedicated sales persons just for a single console / game.
Adds on websited get blocked most of the time and TV is a dying format to begin with. Nintendo does enough with its directs and such.
No company will ever advertise a 3rd party product without being told so by the publisher and / or getting payd for it.
And again, as good as this version might be, this is most definitly not a game to sell a system with. People who care about it know that this version is the best one (apart from the lack of DLC etc) and that the WiiU is capable of more than whats shown. And a simple add campaign wouldnt convince people who dont care. If they are interested, they get the game for cheap on other systems.
Also, you simply can market games that are crippled to begin with. If devs / publishers decline further support from the beginning, you cant promote your version as the definitive one.
And the root of this problem is the developer / publisher (whoever is pulling the strings).

OliverAdam

#110

OliverAdam said:

I love how people say this isn't Nintendo's fault. There you have it. The developer of a damn fine Wii U game, saying that both Nintendo and EA didn't give a love, and still you blindfold yourself, you try and "explain" things without a foot in the industry - how about you just listen to the damn guy. His statements are pretty loving believable considering the poopiedoodoocacapoopledoople amount of retail games appearing on the Wii U - What are we getting up until Mario Kart? 1 or 2 games? Loving drought once again. I thought i disliked Nintendo, but the fans are.... You have the damn explanation right up there! It's not what you wanted? Well i wanted a Nintendo console with a ton of retail games, look how that turned out. Just accept things for what they are and move on.
Please watch the profanity — TBD

Nintenjoe64

#111

Nintenjoe64 said:

@damo I find it more worrying than disappointing because for every bit of good they do wooing indies, they manage to make more headlines for poor 3rd party relationships and marketing. It doesn't really matter whose fault it is, it reinforces the idea that Wii U isn't worth the effort for anybody other than Nintendo.

yuwarite

#112

yuwarite said:

@OliverAdam It's still more EA's fault than it is Nintendo's in this case. Even if they flew to Nintendo for Marketing support, it's still more the responsibility of EA than it is Nintendo's. Also, watch the language.

Zach

#113

Zach said:

Wow, I'm so happy to have this honest account on record. You have to remember that it's not just the people at EA who are in charge of the games they release, but plenty of real people with families and livelihoods as well. This is why I hate the idea of boycotting games — not only because it really isn't a boycott in earnest as it's too loosely organized to ever gain the size and respect to make an impact, let alone an impact that the company can link back to it — but because it hurts the people who put that hard work into them. So, no one wins. But I digress. I really hope the guy gives the Wii U a try, but I'm not going to blame him if he doesn't.

ACK

#114

ACK said:

Couple things.

Most importantly, Most Wanted is kind if a s****y game. At best it's overrated. (Lacking and unfocused as a racing game and dull as an open world game). Doesn't even come close to Criterion's best. No wonder there. And why would Nintendo bother marketing one of EAs games after the lack of support? Not sure whose fault this is, but the fact that MW was hardly printed sealed it's fate.

Either way, that has no bearing on the Wii U audience supporting future projects. Nintendo gamers like good games. Most Wanted barely qualifies and lacks the focus I believe Nintendo has instilled in us. Taking one of Criterion's worst games, releasing it way late, and ultimately sending it out to pasture without any support at a non-competitive price. There was no way it was going to sell. Several reviews strangely referred to MWU as the worst version. Even the interested were turned around when it was clear no DLC was coming.

Point is, it's hardly on the Wii U audience not to support a game they couldn't easily find, cost twice that of the other versions, received zero DLC support, etc. The audience will be there if you treat them with respect. EA didn't do that. But Criterion shares a little blame as well because the game itself just isn't that good.

MEKsLP

#115

MEKsLP said:

No offense to Alex but it sounds like he is venting his frustrations with the industry at large towards his ex-parent company and Nintendo. As a Nintendo fan and PC gamer I have learned throughout the years not to trust or buy EA products. Every once in awhile EA will release a title that interests me enough to splurge (I bought Most Wanted U) but the company itself is into ripping off its consumer-base with countless retreds that are filled to the brim with advertisements and cross-marketing. This is why gamers immediately become skeptical when EA cannibalizes the market by buying up studios only to run their IPs into the ground within the few years following.
Need for Speed isn't exactly in its prime anymore: http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=need+for+speed

Its suffering from the same issues franchises like Tony Hawk, Guitar Hero, Madden and other big name IPs are going through. When I purchase a Criterion game today I know I am signing up for flashes of brilliance that was present in the Burnout games mixed EA's lifeless and dull UI and overall presentation. Alex was working for one of the least liked video game publishers in the world and is pissed that one game, ported half a year later to a struggling console, didn't go as planned. As if the issues his team was facing are removed from the general state of the console industry at large right now.

I hate to break it to this guy but had they done the same thing on the Xbox One or PS4 it would have ended up pretty much the same:
http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=&publisher=&platform=XOne&genre=&minSales=0&results=200
http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=&publisher=&platform=PS4&genre=&minSales=0&results=200

In the middle of both those charts is a brand new NFS game which barley cracked 2 million in combined sales between 5 platforms (pc, 360, Xboxone, PS4, PS3) and they have actually established their userbase on those platforms with previous entries in the franchise.

EA's approach to the Wii U was destined to fail no matter if the Wii U had sold better vs how its actually performed. Mass Effect 3 released for $60 while the other consoles get the full collection for cheaper? Throw away ports of FIFA and Madden? This is going to build the publishers brand on the system? I bought MW because I am a fan of Criterion, not EA, and honestly this version of NFS is good, but is lacking in a lot of key ways. Its Burnout Paradise mixed with the police chases from Hot Pursuit minus all the vehicle defense options developed in HP and lacking the exhilarating crashes from the Burnout series. Its a pretty good game that doesn't focus on the strengths in the franchise and it sold poorly on the Wii U because of timing and the general state of the franchise.

Sorry Alex that your big corporate job at EA worked out as could have been expected. I doubt he ended up quitting his job because of this one port of one game. It probably has to do more with EA being about as fun to work at as it would seem:
http://davidcrew.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-its-like-to-work-at-ea-an-employees-perspective/

LUIGITORNADO

#116

LUIGITORNADO said:

It's not the developer's fault. It's the game's fault. It's a good game, but not a game that Wii U market is interested in.

siavm

#117

siavm said:

I was not buying a months old port I could have on other systems. I bought monter hunter 3 ultimate instead because unlike need for speed that was a game that really was worth getting again or for the first time. And the game was like $30 on other systems versus full price on wii u. If the game came around the same time it may have did better. Sure a little better is good but not if it comes with a wait a is barely noticeable to the average person.

noctowl

#119

noctowl said:

What a cry baby. Wahh I don't care if they sold better on the eshop wahh wahh.

Also, don't say "all platforms" when you don't mean it. So, he's not only a cry baby, he's a liar too. I'll be skipping his games.

WiiULoveSquid

#121

WiiULoveSquid said:

"It's not the developer's fault. It's the game's fault. It's a good game, but not a game that Wii U market is interested in."

@LUIGITORNADO I think this is why he is pretty reluctant to commit to publishing on WiiU as he likely isn't making 2D platformers either.

rjejr

#122

rjejr said:

@Nintenjoe64 - It's not "only" or "just", it's "only" AND just", you need both for flamebait ;-)

"Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Only Sells Just Over 35,000 Units in Japanese Launch"

Rafie

#123

Rafie said:

@Goginho To be honest without sounding like a bigot. Why would any 3rd party developer hold back a game that's going to release on platforms just to touch up the Wii U's version?

I'm not saying that to be mean. The amount of 3rd party games for the Wii U selling an even a good amount has been dismal at best. More than likely the sales won't do great for the Wii U. So why hold back the systems that will sell better? It's all business at the end of the day. I sure do wish the Wii U was doing a lot better. I so hope these upcoming 1st party titles do well to push the Wii U in a better place.

rjejr

#124

rjejr said:

I think it's funny this big response but nobody even mentioned the only tweet that's relevant:

"Probably not, tbh..."

As in, another developer NOT making games for Wii U. We all know about EA, we all know about Nintendos lack of 3rd party support. Seriously, Nintendo hardly advertises ANYTHING on Wii U, why would any other company think Nintendo would support them? But here's another company saying they probably wont support Wii U and nobody seems to care.

JumpnShootMan

#126

JumpnShootMan said:

@Einherjar OK. So NoA needs to step up their game. I see PS and Xbox advertisements all over the place, but hardly any for WiiU. (And incidentally, I'll be in Mannheim for the next 6 weeks, so I'll keep a lookout for the marketing here).

I think a lot of this can be boiled down to the fact that Nintendo doesn't have good business relationships with their 3rd party partners, and yeah, EA is the worst--that probably had a lot to do with the NFS issues here. In general though, if Nintendo had a better business relationships with the 3rd parties up front, there might be fewer problems with crippled games. I think a fair share of the blame does lie outside Nintendo; but I hope they're working hard behind closed doors to fix the problem. And I do think that marketing is an easy place to strike partnerships and create a common goal. The more the companies work together the better their relationship should be.

SahashraLA

#127

SahashraLA said:

Most ridiculous 'fan' ending EVER. Why the f would Nintendo promote a game for EA?? A company that joined them on stage, at E3 nonetheless, and LIED about backing Wii U. Or maybe they thought Nintendo would cave in to Origin, I don't know.. The developers should have been furious at EA for having them release the game for Wii U AT ALL. Critics everywhere hated it (despite the fact it was PC gorgeous) and the fanboys panned it off entirely.
Hear that Nintendo: if you want 3rd party titles, do all their promotions, marketing and sales calls. Call of Duty alone would have run up a 10 million dollar advert budget, but hey, if that's what it takes, right?

SahashraLA

#129

SahashraLA said:

HUGE loss. I mean, another racing game? Or what, is this studio going to branch off and make something worth playing? I don't think so. Racing games are fun eShop titles at 20$ a pop or rentals. Nothing more.
How Mario Kart sells systems? I figure it's the ridiculous multiplayer and familiar faces. But that's just a guess. I've never enjoyed or purchased a Mario Kart title and the only racer I've ever owned (aside from the dirt cheap F Zero) was Sega GT on the Dreamcast. Racers just seem boring and tired to me. I hope Alex Ward's studio does something different, but I can't see it.
Best of luck, I guess, but his anger towards Nintendo seemed misplaced.

Melistrius

#130

Melistrius said:

We can clearly not tell the whole story as we got only one side, but many here really love to jump to conclusions anyway... So what I get from his tweets is, that they went to N and begged for a marketing campaign, so it's safe to assume that EA already told them what they will do with their port: Nothing. At this point some may say that N had to jump in but as many have pointed out it would've been useless. Bad press about EA and N and the game was already circulating quite early and I can see N not feeding EA at this time (or at any time). This is bad for him and his team but he should also see the other side.
We also don't know what happened exactly and therefore it's hard to make any definite conclusions. On the other hand I think that it's not that bad if we count all those negative arguments, some people brought up. So no advertising, really overpriced (It was often 70 Euros here on Amazon in Germany like the U Version of CoD and this is really ridicolous) and the core Fans knew it ould've no support. But it still sold an amount of games. Yeah sure noone knows where this port has been profitable but as I can see this game still high in price I doubt that many bought it at a bargain. Who knows.

Many are so quick to say that quality games don't sell on WiiU bla but after all the U has a much higher software attach rate than 4 and One. If he is not sure if he will develop for the U than that's his decision, he neither ruled it out yet, so we will see but he should really think in bigger terms of what his publisher did. As stated we don't know jack about the truth, maybe EA was hoping for N to marketing it and launch a "Hyper Exclusive GOTC Edition" for all other platforms on the same day for half the price just for kicks. Who knows, fact is that his game was sold even if everything exceot for most reviews was against them. Yes it didn't sold millions and propably won't in the future but he did a good job and delivered a good product. THAT'S the thing to be happy about. The many Gamers that appreciated the work, don't be pissed because it weren't millions. I did buy it and I thank you for delivering it... Deliver a good game and I will buy it, it's that easy.

and @Rafie: Well they should do it once with a top title. Really release it at the same day with the same features and a printed money back guarantee to support it exactly like the other platforms and then compare the sales. Everone is so fast to say that games don't sell on Nintendo Systems but they do when they're good. I would be really interrested in the sales with such an experiment. Watch Dogs would've been a good example because it appeared to be the middle-Version, a bit less than 4/1 and a little bit more than 3/360 but that experiment was already fushed so let's see if there will be another chance for it...

unrandomsam

#131

unrandomsam said:

@rjejr EA has always been about special privileges to them. They said no during the NES era and I cannot see that changing. (But Ubisoft was allowed a Just Dance bundle so was Lego so maybe they have changed).

@WiiULoveGBA The Wii U has loads of really good 2D Platformers. 3rd party stuff I may have any interest in at all would not be 2D Platformers.

Samurairu

#132

Samurairu said:

Oh boo who, he didn't get recognition from his employer. Like that isn't the majorities reality? Holding a grudge is what's unprofessional. Move on and feel lucky for what he can do. What a loser.

JustinH

#133

JustinH said:

I don't get what you guys are on about. Nintendo gave this a lot of attention when you consider it's a very delayed port that was released the same day as Monster Hunter and Lego City Undercover.

I get the dev's frustration, but blaming Nintendo here is childish. It's EA's game.

Awesome game too, by the way.

Diddy_kong

#134

Diddy_kong said:

Maybe this explains why Most Wanted U froze/crashed about a dozen times on my console before I finally decided to get rid of it. My failed experience with Most Wanted U is what finally convinced me to buy a PS3 where I can actually play racing/third-party games that don't freeze every 5 minutes.

Also, 2010's Hot Pursuit is a much better game than Most Wanted, but I'm just not a fan of Most Wanted's open world style.

sinalefa

#135

sinalefa said:

To the people saying this is another flamebait article, I have to agree. This one even breaks the community rules of avoiding profanity.

If this man was the boss and can't even keep a professional attitude, well, I am starting to regret having supported his game. It sits unopened on my shelf, so it is not for a lack of games that I got it.

I think I will support indie developers on Wii U instead. Of course that merits a YAWN from this guy.

retro_player_22

#136

retro_player_22 said:

This what all boss of a dead company always does, blame their head company for their own f**k up. I heard it all the time in every work industry. It's nothing new, people come and go and this unprofessional blabber mouth is definitely doing us a big favor by leaving both EA and Nintendo.

bofis

#137

bofis said:

I totally appreciate what he did to bring the game to WiiU, I love NFS on the gamepad, with the map, it's so great. It's unfortunate EA really really hates Nintendo lately, but hopefully other developers will see good sales and continue to drive 3rd party support for WiiU going forward.

Einherjar

#138

Einherjar said:

@JumpnShootMan Yep, the relationship between EA and Nintendo could be one of the bigger factors in this. And as long as there is no publisher involved, nintendo seems to be on pretty good terms with developing studios.
Namco is working on Smash, Platinum bonded with nintendo, monolith is happily working with them, most indie devs praise them.
Its mostly the bigger companys and / or their publishers that make problems.
Look at Rayman for another example. The dev wanted to release the game only on WiiU. Once the higher ups decided that it should go multi, they still wanted to focus more on the WiiU version which also got neglected.
My guess is, that most of these publishers cant stand the fact that nintendo isnt really buyable. You can buy advertisement space on both, the PSN Store and the XBL marketplace to guarantee that your game stays in the spotlight while nintendo shuffles titles around solely based on "most viewed, most bought, most recent".

AJ_Lethal

#139

AJ_Lethal said:

Nintendo has no obligation at all to help sales of 3rd party publishers. And given how sour is the relationship between EA and Nintendo...

Damn it Ward, get it together.

unrandomsam

#140

unrandomsam said:

@Einherjar Monolith soft is a subsidiary of Nintendo that a subsidury says it works well with its parent company doesn't mean much.

I am against advertising in all forms. If most of the advertising budgets were put into making the game better then a game like would stand head and shoulders above the competition. (Loads of advertising is an excuse for a poor product. Look at Bioware before and after EA got involved and valued advertising over making the game good).

Goginho

#141

Goginho said:

@Rafie Yeah definitely, you have a point. It is all business at the end and third party will always do worse with Nintendo, at least at the moment, until a kind of revoltuion in the gaming industry happens and a threshold gets crossed, where Nintendo gains reputation of having class A 3rd party.

I'm just saying the developers made the Wii U version the superior one in this case, adding extra work into it (which I can appreciate), but they don't realize the fact that something gets devalued for already having existed on other consoles, especially nowadays, what with the internet and YouTube and what not, everybody can see footage, spoiling some of that early / first-time experience. I know it's kind of a weird way we think, but in the end, something has more ..I guess personal value when you have that feeling of being one of the first, you know.
So I was comparing this to Rayman Legends, and how suddenly from remaining a Wii U exclusive, Ubisoft (or whoever) decided to put it on other consoles, which is okay ..but that meant (for whatever odd reason) that the Wii U version, which was presumably a completed product, had to wait before being released, as to appease PS and Xbox consumers for not having a game come out later than on a competitior's console, which is kind of sad imo.. So whatever kind of bribing was going on there to make the Wii U version wait..hmm :P But as you mentioned, it's all business and that's how the cookie crumbles, so people have got to remain professional imo..

At this rate however, Nintendo will never cross that threshold I was talking about earlier, meaning that if they (along with 3rd party partners, I imagine) don't sacrifice time / money / resources, in which they get a decent amount of stellar and highly appealing 3rd party exclusives, thus drawing in some new consumers and doubters, broadening Nintendo's lost reputation, then they will continue to be shunned by 3rd party developers for not being able to sell their games. This is all because there isn't enough 3rd party appeal out there for Nintendo's somewhat 'kiddy' and 'family-friendly' image to change to a more bad-donkey one, gaining a broader userbase and drawing in the developers. And who's to blame them? These devs are getting frustrated with them, but there clearly isn't any appeal to their games when they're not exclusives and / or come out later than on other consoles. So somebody needs to change something in order for that all to happen. I don't know who and I'm not gonna point fingers, but that's how it is, I feel. I could be wrong :P

TrueWiiMaster

#142

TrueWiiMaster said:

I agree that most of the time the developers aren't to blame for stuff like this, but I don't think it's fair to blame Nintendo either. If the game had released later on the PS3 than on the Wii U or 360, do you think Sony would have been excited to advertise it? No. The blame here lies almost entirely with EA.

TreonsRealm

#143

TreonsRealm said:

I like Mr. Wards previous work but he is speaking from a purely emotional point of view and not looking at the bigger picture (a major problem with many developers in recent years). He got paid to do a job and he and his team did it (and did it well) but why is he blaming Nintendo for lack of support? This (like many other issues) falls squarely on EA and their complete lack of caring about the Wii U. Why do these developers target Nintendo when it comes to not marketing third party games? It is not their responsibility to do so, it is the responsibility of the billion dollar publisher (EA) to market the game they invested money into. You don't see Sony or Microsoft going out of their way to promote third party games that aren't exclusive to their platform and why should they? You also don't hear these companies whining when Sony/Microsoft doesn't promote their game after a failure (they target their publisher who didn't do their job). Yet somehow Nintendo gets blamed for not promoting a game that came out nearly 6 months after the other releases lacking DLC support and after EA had flat out stated that they were bailing on the Wii U!

The only time the console makers should be providing additional (or special) marketing support to third party's is when that game is a major exclusive to their machine (like Nintendo did for games like ZombiU or Rayman Legends). Speaking of Rayman Legends, look at how Nintendo supported that pre and post hardware launch and how UbiSoft stabbed them in the back by going multiplatform. Nintendo featured it heavily in the advertising of the console, showed it at E3 and even made it the main playable demo in their retail Wii U demo kiosks. Gee, I can't imagine why Nintendo doesn't go out of their way when they always get screwed by the third party's.

As for the indie scene (which Ward is a part of now), Nintendo has been EXTREMELY supportive because this is a fresh start. They aren't dealing with the bloated (and back stabbing) third party's in this environment so they are bending over backwards to help these new company's and their games. They don't require any exclusivity (and are very fair in sharing the profit), they have dropped the monetary barrier to bare minimum, they allow the company's to run sales and patch the games with no strings attached and in some cases, they have even given away development kits and waved the licensing fees. With a deal that sweet, its no wonder that there are well over 120 indie games coming to the machine (and more announced almost daily). These company's are also seeing success with Nintendo because they aren't gimping their releases or screwing Nintendo and in turn, the fans are supporting them (as they should). Mr. Ward should drop the attitude (and bad blood he's carrying from working with EA) and consider supporting ALL platforms like he said he would (Wii U included). He even has the advantage over other indie developers having crafted a major third party game that ran so well on the machine (he knows the inner tech pretty well now). To be fair though, his outburst is well publicized through the Nintendo community now so he may have just burned that bridge (a royally stupid move when starting in the indie scene).

Einherjar

#144

Einherjar said:

@unrandomsam Thats why marketing a game thats not even your own is a bad idea by default. And monolith previously worked unter Namco, nintendo just bought them. So much for not investing in other dev teams. And they worked on more titles that just the ones that have their name on it. For instance, they were part of the AC new leaf team.
In regards to advertising in general: Most big publishers bank on the fact, that their games will sell by their names alone. You see that mostly with EA and UbiSoft. They are milking their franchises beyond repair and dont move a muscle to freshen them up a little, just because the name alone will sell them. And that name just needs more and more advertising. A little scandal here and there, a bit of controversy and poof you can sell the same game again, just change the subtitle a bit. Marketing 101.

Action51

#145

Action51 said:

I don't think anyone is blaming Criterion.

I've heard nothing but praise for a solid port...and I can attest to that. NFS: Most Wanted U is excellent and a must-own for the system if you like racing games.

Everyone has been attacking EA and Nintendo for the third party situation, not once have I heard anyone say anything bad about Criterion.

unrandomsam

#146

unrandomsam said:

@TrueWiiMaster They chose to associate themselves with EA by accepting to work for them knowing full well what they were like. Same sort of ethical choice as something like buying metals from the Congo. They use the same method of making games as was used on the pyramids (Other than the final product is nowhere near as good).

unrandomsam

#147

unrandomsam said:

@Action51 He is blaming everyone but himself but yet he chose to work there. (And there is no way he could be ignorant about how EA and Nintendo would act).

Action51

#148

Action51 said:

@unrandomsam yeah, I get that he is frustrated.

The thing is, no one is saying Criterion is to blame for the Wii U third party situation. I really enjoyed the hell out of NFS: Most Wanted U...and sadly it's probably the last and only EA game I'll be buying for the Wii U.

I hope Criterion can find a better working situation, because I think they are very talented developers.(I enjoy Burnout Paradise on PC too)

Like Phil FIsh, I think Mr Ward has to understand that the internet is full of know-nothing people spouting and repeating every form of nonsense and demanding everything and being generally un-pleasable.

I'm sad to hear that we most likely will not be getting more games developed by Criterion for Wii U.

Senario

#149

Senario said:

@Rafie Because the Hype marketing that is so popular now only works for a short time after launch. Releasing one version later is almost guaranteeing that it won't sell well because the people who want it usually would have gotten it on other platforms. And I only say almost because Rayman Legends sold well ish on Wii U. Though to be honest, Ubisoft should extend the same courtesy to Watch Dogs for Wii U as they did for all other platforms for Rayman Legends and delay the game in the interest of pleasing ALL fans. Which is the claim they made with Rayman.

faint

#150

faint said:

@Gerbwmu IMO this is the one comment on this thread I hope makes its way to this developer. It's always nice to see somebody who doesn't pick a side and has a logical point of view cheers

Pod

#151

Pod said:

While I can understand this man's frustration perfectly well, it would be hard for me as a Wii U owner to say that even -I- gave much of a damn about Need For Speed.
More so than an issue with Nintendo, I see this as an issue with EA and publishers in general, but Nintendo certainly didn't seem to be helping either.

JeffreyG

#152

JeffreyG said:

@Diddy_kong I don't know when you last played the Wii U version, but a system update (I believe the big summer 2013 one) solved most problems with the game. Still, EA was just too lazy to update the game or even the price. It's still the full launch price on the eShop (same for Fifa 13 btw).

XFsWorld

#153

XFsWorld said:

@Discostew They should have never had a W101 demo, I was really excited for the game after it's own direct . The demo turned me off.

DESS-M-8

#154

DESS-M-8 said:

Expecting nintendo to bankroll their marketing seems silly. Bit as silly as nintendo not bankrolling their own marketing though, but none the less, not really a move he should have made and then be surprised and angry about.
The long and short of it is:
1) It was released too long after the initial version
2) the installed base was small
3) need for sleek doesn't carry any weight anymore.
I bought it on day one for wii u off the eshop at £44.99, played it for a week. Wasn't fussed for it. Would have downloaded the movie legends DLC easy, but there was no DLC support. Who wasn't supporting who exactly????
If they'd have released the this super version on ps4, it'd sell relatively nothing with figures comparable to that it did on wii u.
Criterion need to learn to make more games. They were perfectly aligned with ea, redeveloping the same old game over and over.
Burnout out was good, but crashing over and over has zero longevity.

They should have made an F-Zero game with the most wanted graphic engine and destructible physics. That would have been a switch and filled a huge wanting hole in the wii u software library

unrandomsam

#155

unrandomsam said:

@Action51 I have that game and I liked the look of it but "INCLUDES SOFTWARE THAT COLLECTS DATA ONLINE NECESSARY TO PROVIDE INGAME ADVERTISING." means no way under any circumstances for me. (Especially when EA has any involvement).

CaPPa

#156

CaPPa said:

While I do think that Nintendo should help more in marketing 3rd party games it wouldn't have made much sense for them to put their resources behind a year old port.

I bought Most Wanted U, but I doubt that I'll be buying any of Ward's future games as I'm not getting a PS4/XBO yet and don't want to buy digital content on PS3/360 if I can help it. His attitude doesn't sound good either, so if it's not on Wii U then forget it.

kereke12

#157

kereke12 said:

So there's the proof. Its right there, I can clearly see that Nintendo didn't do there job and market the Wii U. I was kind of blaming the devs. But I was wrong.....There both to blame. What a shame.

Senario

#158

Senario said:

@kereke12 Because Nintendo didn't want to market a few months old port of a game from a third party dev? I don't really judge on marketing too much because I doubt many of us even understand what goes into it. What we do know is it costs a lot of money, probably a lot more than what is worth it to spend to turn a profit on the game.

sonicfanatic

#159

sonicfanatic said:

well this is gonna be awkward when the wii u sells enough consoles to get third party attention again

McGruber

#160

McGruber said:

The game would never have sold well primarily because of Nintendos failures with WiiU from the very start. That said, this is one of the very best games on the system AND it has WiiU specific features and actually looks BETTER than 360. So yea Nintendo could and should have supported it through email ads, Nintendo Direct, Nintendo Minute, etc. Nobody is saying they should have financed commercials or subway ads...

Action51

#161

Action51 said:

@unrandomsam it is annoying that they want to know how many hours of Zombie U or Super Mario Bros. I play to "better advertise" to me...

That being said... I am not going to defend EA or it's Origin account system. It's a great looking game, and I enjoy cruising around and trying to find all the hidden cars, billboards, and jumps between races.

I got my money's worth...and I again must stress that this will probably be the last EA game I buy for any system until they can clean up their act and put making great games above advertising and monetization schemes.

McGruber

#162

McGruber said:

PS this game can be found for less than $20 new! I imagine it's one of the last AAA WiiU titles not released by Nintendo.

Rafie

#163

Rafie said:

@Senario You and I both know why Rayman Legends was delayed. Ubisoft only did that because of you-know-who with their you-know-what's. From a business standpoint though, why would Ubisoft delay the PS4, Xbox One, PS3 & 360 versions just for the Wii U's version seeing as the Wii U's third party sales have been lacking? I'm just looking at it from a business standpoint. Ubi would loose sales on enormous levels just for the Wii U. That wouldn't be good for Ubi.

Rafie

#164

Rafie said:

@Goginho Yeah 3rd party with Nintendo hasn't been good in the last 17-18 years to be honest. It's only gotten worse over each new generation. Nintendo will always have stellar first party games, but not so great 3rd party support. Little to almost none at all. Ubisoft and Activision are 2 of the only ones left really that supports Nintendo. A crying shame, but Nintendo needs to also market themselves to these 3rd party folks as well if they want their audience larger.

I'm not at all worried about Nintendo. I'm just worried about the Wii U. Such a capable console is being overlooked because of negative media propaganda and 3rd party developers. They aren't the sole reason why the Wii U isn't being taken serious. These inferior ports they get doesn't help either.

unrandomsam

#166

unrandomsam said:

@Rafie Nintendo should adopt the same strategy as MS when it comes to that. (They came up with it after all and stopped the West getting worthwhile far superior TG16 versions of mediocre NES games.) having an inferior version devalues the system. (And people buy what they know if they have the option regardless of anything else. Fifa 14 (Which is exactly the same game as Fifa 12) on the 3DS is a great example it sold miles better than PES 2013 which is a great game and it was improving year by year - kicking Fifa off the platform would have been for the best - or even forcing them to make it better or be kicked).

8bitforever

#167

8bitforever said:

Nintendo only cares about Donkey Kong, Mario, Pokemon, and Zelda. Anything else doesn't matter to them! This is why they are losing fans and business every second of everyday! They need to just make games and leave the hardware business to Sony.

PinkSpider

#168

PinkSpider said:

Such a shame, i think criterion did a tremendous job with Need For Speed
I personally would like to shake Alex Ward's hand for such a good job.
I have clocked up many hours on this game,
Still would love to see NFS Rivals come out but it will never happen :(

Goginho

#170

Goginho said:

@Rafie Yea man, definitely. That's the keyword for the Wii U, oversight :/ unfortunately. So much potential, so much that could be done, but ruined due to lost reputation of the company. I remain positive though, and am looking forward to the awesome first party games that are coming out :)

timp29

#171

timp29 said:

I really want to buy a physical copy of need for speed but I can't find an Australian retailer asking less than $79. The criminal thing is probably how little of that $79 ends up in the pockets of guys like ward. If I finally find a copy of most wanted for $50 (which I would pay in a heart beat) he probably gets the same amount of money.

Discostew

#172

Discostew said:

@unrandomsam The problem with Nintendo using MS's strategy right now is that they would further distance themselves from 3rd-parties by applying their policies. Nintendo is already in the pits with regard to them. MS, on the other hand, has gotten enough 3rd-party support allowing them to do that and still maintain a good hold of their ties. They also had hardware last generation on the same level as Sony's offering, which seems to be what most 3rd-parties care about nowadays.

SahashraLA

#173

SahashraLA said:

@McGruber
Last AAA 3rd party title? Then we're ignoring Rayman Legends, Splinter Cell: Black List, Batman: Arkham Origins, Call of Duty Ghosts, Assassin's Creed 4, Disney Infinity, and Skylanders? Cool. Good to know. Memo received, I'm filing it now.
NFS is better looking, sure, but it handles like crap and that was completely fixable. No DLC, whatever. It's not like anyone was going to buy it en masse anyways.
Typical EA garbage: late, gimped port, no post release support and this ridiculous, stunned reaction from the big wigs when this second hand trash doesn't sell.
Nintendo barely advertises their own stuff, why waste time telling people about a port from a company that doesn't support them, taking cheap shots at every opportunity? And the fact the game was 6 months old? Throw in something that makes it worth buying or do something NEW. Mario may have tons of titles out, but I can tell the diference between Power Strikers, Island Tour, Dream Team, 3D World and New Super Luigi U. It's the difference between a series and a BRAND. Mario isn't a series. It's a brand. Like Rayman. Remember that Rayman has 2D, 3D and Rabbids spin-offs? Yeah. Not a series, a BRAND. HUGE difference. God of War: one long story, multiple chapters. Series. Gears of War: one long story, multiple chapters. Series. Uncharted: One long story, multiple chapters. Series.
Final Fantasy? BRAND. Everything's numbered, but only the numbers that repeat are sequels. And in that, SE creates branches that aren't brands but series'.
Need for Speed is a BRAND. But like Madden and many of EA's titles (Mass Effect, distributed by EA, is the worst offender as far as series' are concerned), there's not really alot of reason to buy the newest entry. Then again, most people are too lazy to adjust their own rosters or 'deal with last year's graphics'. Gaming is a hilariously fickle industry, catering to two extremes: those who crave the most realistic experiences possible, depressing individuals without the power to make their own lives better.
Or zany, imaginative types that love to have fun, create and be inspired. Rarely do the two spectrums cross, and Nintendo fails as a result. When the scope of one spectrum is too small, it's unlikely to attract a large crowd. So, instead of praise from mainstream media, specific niches are filled. Make no mistake: Nintendo has ALWAYS had this issue. Controlling and stubborn they released their grip years too late and now, the realistic spectrum has dwindled. Though, talk to the right people and they won't see the growth of that spectrum to have been so fantastic. I don't make money off Nintendo's, Sony's, Criterion's EA's or Microsoft's success. I just hope that the few games I enjoy are made and released.
If you're convinced this was a system seller, AAA, top of the line game, then say it. But you're not a team member. Stop trying to sell it to people. 2 years later, I'm sure they can make up their own minds.

jrob23

#174

jrob23 said:

@Zach actually boycotting DOES work. This game is a perfect example. Many Wii U owners felt disrespected by EA. Supposing they played it on other consoles but wanted to try it on the Wii U, maybe that prevented them from buying/supporting. That then led to this douche quitting his job because his game wasn't purchased. This affected EA because it took away 'talent'. And now we have this story and his words which portray EA and Nintendo in a negative light. So..it actually does affect things sometimes.

minotaurgamer

#175

minotaurgamer said:

I understand blaming EA. But Nintendo? Is not their job to market all 3d party games they have. Not even MS or Sony do it. What do they want next? programm the games for them?

And yes I know that they do market some 3d games but why they would do with an old port of a game? Sorry but that's EA's job.

Nimious

#176

Nimious said:

@SCAR392 Honestly do you even know how to converse?

Rather than talk about the game in question you kept going back to talk about Mass Effect as if one terribly done third party port can represent all the third party ports out there.

Just to point this out since you don't seem to understand it, Most Wanted on the Wii U was the highest and best version of the game whereas Mass Effect 3 for the Wii U was the worst.

You say you understand Criterion put in real effort, I find that hard to believe when you're ignoring all they've achieved. You're stereotyping them when you more than likely have never even played the game.

JaxonH

#177

JaxonH said:

I think it's important to remember that the game was not Nintendo's to market, nor was the game Nintendo's to release physically. Nintendo has their own games to worry about. If a 3rd party wishes to release a game on Wii U, it is their responsibility to advertise it,m and their responsibility to press discs for physical release. Not Nintendo's. And certainly not the developer Criterion's responsibility either, but rather, EA's.

EA, with all their billions of dollars, couldn't fork over enough cash to get a physical release in Europe or to advertise the game? They WANTED the game to fail. They used Criterion like pawns- now they have a public excuse as to why they won't support Nintendo. Release a game many months after it releases on other systems, don't advertise it, and don't even print a physical disc in Europe. Then withdraw support and say "Well we tried".

I can understand why this developer is upset, but it's important to direct that frustration at the proper entity. No, Nintendo is not responsible to advertise EA's game for them. And no, Nintendo is not responsible to pay for the game to be physically released. That's all EA's responsibility right there. If Nintendo had to shell out for advertising every time a 3rd party game released, they'd go broke. They barely advertise their OWN games, why the heck would they pay for EA's?

Nimious

#178

Nimious said:

@minotaurgamer It's true that it's not Nintendo's job to market every third party game but why not put it in context and relative to competitors.

Here's a studio that has gone beyond their mandate and ported over the best version of the game. They fly all the way over to show Nintendo their game and how does Nintendo react? By doing nothing.

If Nintendo wants third party studios to care about their platform they need to really put some effort into helping them out as well. Sony and Microsoft sure understand this far better than Nintendo.

Nintendo could have thrown at least a token effort out to help Criterion. Something as simple as a eshop banner for Most Wanted, including the game in their monthly email to subscribers, featuring the game on their Facebook page, etc. Criterion certainly isn't asking for anything as substantial as Nintendo programming their games.

But Nintendo didn't and they likely never will. They don't care about big third party developers and that's blatantly obvious. The most obvious fact of all can be found just buying opening your eshop on your Wii U.

Want to tell me how many third party titles you see featured on that first page or how far you have to scroll down before you see the first third party title? What about the plethora of first party titles instead?

Aside from the occasional indie game, third party developers are largely ignored on the eshop page and by Nintendo as a whole. This isn't the case for Sony and Microsoft whom clearly have major third party support.

JaxonH

#179

JaxonH said:

@SahashraLA

Nice post! And welcome to N-Life (seeing as this is the first time I've read a post from you, I'm assuming you joined within the last few months?).

You're gonna fit in just fine around here lol...

unrandomsam

#180

unrandomsam said:

@Nimious They paid Platinum to make something for them. Same presumably with Sega. What they don't care about is junk multiplatform ports and they shouldn't. (They should go back to their old NES era policy of if it is on Nintendo it cannot be on anything else for 2 years).

Nimious

#181

Nimious said:

@unrandomsam Oh boy that's completely different....

Nintendo signed a partnership with Sega. That was a mutual agreement benefiting Nintendo clearly by keeping more exclusives on the console. As for Platinum I believe they approached Nintendo for funding for Bayonetta 2. They really wanted to make Bayonetta 2 happen and so they did what they had to for it to happen.

Both of those deals were put through because of the connection the higher ups all have with each other. Outsiders like Criterion would likely never get a chance at any sort of relationship like that.

Though I do have to point this out. What other exclusive third party games are there? Nintendo certainly doesn't have very many on the Wii U.

You're missing my point. Criterion did not put out a junk port, they put out the very best version of the game. All Nintendo did was IGNORE their work and gave them no support.

Nintendo should and has to care about third party developers. A Nintendo console that only plays first and second party games will be largely ignored as the Wii U is. Most people can't afford several consoles and if Nintendo can't justify their console as the primary buy they're in trouble.

They don't understand that and this generation they're paying the price. Add that to the fact that the Wii U architecture is so different making it a larger hassle to port games over, the lack of support for developers, lackluster hardware, etc and you can see where this is going.

Hamguar

#182

Hamguar said:

All I got from this was bed wetter pissing on about some poor experience then like the greatest of non-genuses and proceed to show AAA immaturity and needlessly burn bridges. At best, just another FEZ whiner. Yes he should feel bad for getting crapped on hard by EA, who wouldn't, but the foolishness he displayed afterwards is all on him.

Should have taken a page from Inafune. As far as I know, he has not openly pissed himself over Capcom and knowing Capcom's rep with it's employees he very well could have tons to grip about and didn't. He just left and did something constructive about his situation rather than crying on Twitter like a Middle School tween.

unrandomsam

#183

unrandomsam said:

@Hamguar The Fez situation ended up in total success for Phil Fish. 1,000,000 copies sold across all platforms. (And it wasn't even that good).

MAB

#184

MAB said:

I like how the users that said this was a flamebait article got caught in the flames and posted numerous times ;)

gatorboi352

#186

gatorboi352 said:

@unrandomsam I don't know what you're referring to when you say 'junk multiplatform ports' but if you're lumping Most Wanted U into that group, just stop now. Hands down the most technically impressive and feature rich version of the game.

Ren

#187

Ren said:

firstly this is this guys twitter, he doesn't owe anybody any kind of 'professional' calm, he can say whatever he wants and it's not going to ruin his life or his company; it's twitter.
No one is OBLIgated to market anything but when you release a system that no one has heard of than you market everything that comes out for it that is even half playable whether you made it or not. This is how we've gotten to where we are now. Nintendo has decided that they don't need to listen to anyone including the market for the machines that they sell so they will just pay the price in a failed console. So sure, you can't 'blame' them, but it's not selling and any special 'come back' is just not happening. This lack of support is what he's mad about with the publisher, and on a larger scale overall, Nintendo who have made this 3rd party non-support happen by arrogantly ignoring everyone in favor of trash like 'NintendoLand'. Just saying 'you may have games on our glittery console' isn't enough anymore, it never has been really.

SCAR392

#188

SCAR392 said:

@Nimious
ME3 is just another example of a game that they didn't find worth marketing. That's all that was. They made a port and threw it on the console. That's a job well done for anyone who cares in the first place. It doesn't matter whether I've played the game. People that published the game probably haven't even played it. This article isn't about the quality of said port. It's about marketing.

Criterion was under direct orders of EA to port the game and add some Wii U features. EA gives Criterion money, EA publishes the game, makes copies, puts it on the eShop. Job done. It was on the front page of the eShop for months.

element187

#190

element187 said:

@Frapp nothing can be done in the future. It's not Nintendo's responsibility to market EA's game.. I appreciate Alex and his teams effort to make this great game, but his anger is misdirected.

If EA can't be bothered to market their own game, why would Nintendo drop a big bag of money on advertising EA's game? EA gets the vast majority of the profits, Nintendo gets a small licensing fee. Why should Nintendo spend all the licensing fees on advertising EA's game? EA is a big boy publisher, they can market their own game. Nintendo has ZERO culpability here.

element187

#191

element187 said:

@whodatninja Nintendo has ZERO culpability in marketing EA's game...... EA is a MASSIVE publisher. Nintendo only assists smaller publishers and devs even though they don't have any responsibility.

Nintendo did a great job marketing Wonderful 101. They gave it it's very own Nintendo direct. They gave the game prime real estate on the eshop for 2 weeks..... Did you expect them to drop 10's of millions of dollars on TV commercials? You are insane if you think they should have. The game as brilliant as it was, was not a system seller. It was an experimental new IP, nothing that was going to sell gangbusters even with a million dollars worth of commercials.

element187

#192

element187 said:

@kereke12 pssst, hey Nintendo doesn't need to market Most Wanted U, nor should they.... Most Wanted already had a MASSIVE publisher backing it, maybe you heard of them? They are called EA.

See, part of a publishers responsibility is to provide proper advertising for a product. Last I checked, Nintendo didn't publish Most Wanted, EA did.

If EA can't be arsed to promote their own game, why should Nintendo? Why should Nintendo spend their own money trying to make EA's game a success? Why should Nintendo spend money so EA can make a bigger profit?

Most gamers don't understand a single thing about the industry works, let alone how businesses operate in general.

domdom87

#193

domdom87 said:

Personally, I loved most wanted on Wii U, it's the most polished and definitive version of the game. It's a real shame what's happened to Criterion. Been a fan of their games since I had burnout 2 on my cube.

Sean_Aaron

#194

Sean_Aaron said:

It's a lovely game and an example of what a third party can do when their development team is fully committed to a platform.

I suspect that this title fell victim to whatever political issues there were between EA and Nintendo because I seriously doubt that EA withdrew support last-minute from Nintendo's systems.

Having said that I think Nintendo would be wise to extend an olive branch to Ward given he's running a new ship now and has the kind of commitment you'd want on-side in the present climate. I don't think it's fair to blame Nintendo when we don't exactly know what was happening between them and EA, but a gesture would be nice.

MEGAMAN_D

#195

MEGAMAN_D said:

I always thought it was down to the publisher to advertise and promote a game. And secondly how do you promote a game that has already been out for 6 months on other platforms ?

I bought NFS MW U and I thought it was a great game and I can clearly see the effort put into it, so kudos to the guys that worked on it.

If NFS MW U was a launch game for the Wii U, I think it would have probably done a little better, but no shop even stocked it, I had to buy it on the eshop.

But all in all, I still believe that Wii U owners have access to one of, if not the best racers out there.

Just buy it any way you can and see for yourself

Platypus101

#197

Platypus101 said:

Really?! Now we're going to post angry disgruntled twitters by angry employees? This is not news or informative, lots of people hate their boss/company they work (or worked) for. This dude should just get over it! I am sure if we all got together we could come up with something to complain about at work. In his case, he has soooooo much money from his awful, awful job, that never did a thing for him ('cept feed his family and give him a nice sized savings to boot!) that he could quit and start his own company.... You know what I say in that situation? Thank you EA for taking care of me! 'Nuff Said.

akaDv8R

#199

akaDv8R said:

@SecondServing Actually, at the end of the day, EA is to blame. Before Wii U was launched, Nintendo approached EA to ask for help and advice on setting up the E-Shop, and digital purchases and downloads. Ea kindly helped them out. However, afterwards, EA asked Nintendo if they could run the E-Shop via their "USELESS" Origin account system. Nintendo obviously said no, and ever since, EA has been on the "HATE NINTENDO" band wagon.

Once the Wii U sales figures really start picking up, which I believe they will, you will see companies like EA scrambling to get their new products onto it. I would not blame Nintendo if they turned around and said, hey, you did not support us in the early days, so why should we now allow you to make millions through software sales on our system.

JimLad

#200

JimLad said:

I knew it wasn't good when Criterion got bought out by EA.
It was about that time when Free Radical also got absorbed into them, and still no TimeSplitters 4 in sight...
Nintendo's lack of marketing and support obviouisly played its part as well. No, they don't have to do it, but if their competitors are rolling out the red carpet for games like this where do you think developers are going to go?

Kolzig

#201

Kolzig said:

I wasn't initially interested in NFS:Most Wanted, but when I did get it for Wii U, it's really great arcade style racing just for fun.

Criterion really did their best and it shows. EA is a scumbag and of course since it's a EA game Nintendo couldn't do much, but a shame things went like they went. Nintendo has a lot of things they would need to change in their behaviour anyways since Wii U and 3DS environments are far from perfect still.

Tsusasi

#202

Tsusasi said:

@Discostew I disagree. Nintendo had far more to gain from marketing the game than EA. As much as I hate the company the EA has become, in this case the game would never have been a true money-making proposition for them. These sort of racing games have a niche market. A niche market on a system that doesn't have a larger user base won't get you marketing doallars.

For Nintendo, however... this was a chance to tout a product that was superior to any of the other platforms, and put to rest the rumors of the systems being under-powered. It was also a chance to show third-parties that they had their backs and were true partners in making the Wii U a must-have system.

It also was a chance to highlight what developers who took their time and developed games specifically for the Wii U could achieve. Especially where the Gamepad was concerned. It made great use of the controller without feeling gimmicky.

Nintendo blew a great opportunity to champion both their system and their commitment to third parties - and do it relatively cheaply - and instead alienated both talented developers and a potential publishing partner. If they had at least tried, I'm pretty sure EA would still have bailed, but this guy and his new company would be a LOT more open to developing for the system... a system he's already proven he has dialed in.

mike_intellivision

#203

mike_intellivision said:

One clarifying question — who was responsible for distribution in Europe? Many of us looking at this in North America really wonder why NIntendo is being mentioned because it was EA's game and short of an agreement between the parties (which had no relationship by this time), there would be no joint marketing. EA even price dropped all versions of the game (including the WiiU version) on the launch day — screwing over those of us who pre-ordered the game at full price. And ironically, even last week, NFS was on the front page of the North American eShop.

However, I don't know what it is/was like in Europe. If NIntendo was supposed to be distributing the game there and did nothing with it, including being slow to make physical copies available, then some of the criticism of this developer is understandable. But if EA was also in charge in Europe, then Nintendo, while not completely innocent, does not deserve the blame being heaped upon it.

ghosto

#204

ghosto said:

It was an old game released at full price, can't blame Nintendo on that one. If it had tighter handling and got rid of those dumb crash animations it would of sold more copies.

While some people love the game at the end of the day much more people thought it was a bad game and that is why they didn't buy it and bad game category is the developers department. Make better games next time and they will sell more copies.

The people who buy your games make less money than you, work more holidays, work more weekends, do more dangerous jobs and work much harder than any developer so it is very insulting to the customer to go on a rant like this.

Gamecubed

#205

Gamecubed said:

You can tell the team did put effort into the NFS port for Wii U, it shows. It's a really great game. I enjoy it. It's like the Mass Effect 3 port. You can tell Straight Right tried much like Criterion to make it unique and fun in the little time they were given.

Who is to blame here? EA were being their usual selves, obviously. But Nintendo has done little to promote third party titles on their system in general. Why aren't they saying "Hey, you can get COD Ghosts, Assassin's Creed and Mario on the same system"?

Platypus101

#206

Platypus101 said:

@MEGAMAN_D and notice no one else spoke up? You know why that is right? 'Cause if you can't say nothing nice, don't say nothin' at all... ;) but I bet there are aspects of your job you dislike, true? :)

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