EA’s chief financial officer says the company is making Wii U games, but is focused on the Xbox and PlayStation brands.
Last week Electronic Arts spokesperson Jeff Brown, speaking to Kotaku, told the gaming world that the publisher had “no games in development for the Wii U.” Given the Wii U’s much lower than expected sales and the emerging reluctance of some developers to work on the platform, this news felt to many like a nail in the coffin of Nintendo’s struggling console.
Now, it would seem that Brown may have overstated, as other EA employees have confirmed that the publisher is indeed working on games for the Wii U. Speaking at the Stifel Nicolaus 2013 Internet, Media and Communications Conference, EA’s chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen offered some clarification to temper Brown’s statement. “We are building titles for the Nintendo console, but not anywhere near as many as we are for PS or Xbox.”
While perhaps not as positive a backtrack as Nintendo might have preferred, it’s still likely a welcome reversal. Nonetheless, there are still substantial questions regarding what exactly EA will be making for the console. DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine, which will likely serve as the foundation of many future EA games, doesn’t run well on the Wii U. This on its own could serve as a substantial barrier to EA games making it to the console.
Similarly, while Jorgenstern has debunked any thoughts that EA might be backing away from the Wii U completely, he still acknowledged that next-gen machines like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are the publisher’s priority. This doesn’t suggest too much confidence in Nintendo’s console. Not that EA is without reasons to doubt the Wii U. The publisher recently announced that sales of the Wii U version of FIFA 13 were so poor, it wouldn’t be bringing FIFA 14 to the console. Similarly, EA confirmed earlier this month that Madden 25 would be skipping the Wii U. In short, EA may not have abandoned the Wii U, but it’s certainly moved past the “unprecedented partnership” with Nintendo that it promised two years ago.