“We’re a rational company,” says EA, “we go where the audience is.”
“The only thing they can do to fix it is to sell more boxes,” says EA’s Frank Gibeau, on the current dismal fate of Nintendo’s Wii U. “We publish games where we think we can make a great game and hit a big audience, and make money,” he added. “That’s why we’re here, that’s why we have an industry.” But until Nintendo moves more units, EA isn’t about to throw good money after bad. It’s already shipped four titles – Madden, FIFA, Need For Speed and Mass Effect – but those titles just aren’t selling, because the Wii U itself hasn’t sold enough boxes.
Nintendo seems to be willing to do what it takes to win EA back. “EA is a great partner of ours, they’ve had games on our platforms before,” says Nintendo of America’s Charlie Scibetta, who feels confident that, once the console’s library grows, the Wii U will be a more attractive platform for publishers. “Once some of these games come out that we have planned between now and the holiday and into 2014,” Scibetta went on to say, “it will help drive the install base.” Presumably until EA sees concrete numbers, it will hold back on Wii U development.
Certainly Nintendo had a pretty decent E3, even without a press conference, with some fun looking title announcements. There’s no telling what the future may hold for Nintendo’s console; EA may see the boxes sell yet.