Okay folks, it looks like all is not lost. Electronic Arts is at least perpending their stance heading into the next-generation of console gaming and after originally writing off Nintendo's Wii U, they've now reneged on that stance and are reconsidering the Big 'N's offerings.
My Nintendo News managed to catch a few moments of reconvening from executives at Electronic Arts that hint at the hatchet burying of some troubled times between EA and Nintendo.
According to an interview on GamesIndustry.biz with Vice President of EA’s Sports division, Andrew Wilson, they have re-established a “tremendous relationship” with Nintendo.
EA executive Frank Gibeau also chimed in, saying...
“We’re not building for Nintendo right now, but we have a tremendous relationship with them and have had a long relationship with them, and should it make sense for us to do so in the future we’ll absolutely roll that into the plan.”
Previously EA had cited a small install base and low monthly sales of the Wii U for their reasons of not porting over popular games to the system.
However, things originally fell apart last year when Electronic Arts wanted more than just their own titles running on Origin's network service. The idea was that EA would power the entirety of the Nintendo Network, forcing all games to require an Origin ID and giving Electronic Arts considerable market share control of both the home console market and the digital distribution landscape. It could have been a huge blow to Valve had Nintendo acquiesced... but they didn't.
What followed was a huge fallout of last minute port-canceling due to problems stemming from “business support”, according to Crytek's CEO Cevat Yerli.
One could basically count it as EA taking their ball and going home to watch the popular athlete wiggle and squirm on the field for not being able to play because... well... the kid doesn't have a ball.
Personally, this feud is silly. Nintendo had every right to deny EA complete control over their network services and EA looks the fool for citing low sales of the Wii U by denying the system any actual games. How will the install base grow if a system doesn't have any games?
The issue was compounded for the worst when Ubisoft also pulled certain exclusives for the Wii U and delayed them to make them multiplatform releases. Basically, the Wii U's biggest drought came because third-party support decided to play “Humiliate the new kid on the block” like it was some kind of sick middle-school prank.
I'm sure Nintendo would move a heck of a lot more units with FIFA, NFL and a few other AAA titles that were supposed to arrive for the system but aren't.
Regardless, Nintendo has moved forward without the AAA publishers and decided to play ball with indie developers. They've acquired a lot of exclusive support with original games on the lower-tier of the design market and hopefully their efforts will pay off in the long run.