EA will surely have a big presence at this year’s upcoming E3; they certainly have in the past. It was just in 2011 where EA then-CEO John Riccitiello said that “Nintendo’s new console delivers speaks directly to the players of EA Sports and EA Games. Nintendo’s new console will produce brilliant high-definition graphics and new gameplay opportunities. We look forward to seeing great EA content on this new platform.”
Fast-forward to 2013 – EA will be showcasing zero games on the Wii U. Zero, as in “not even one.” And currently in development for the Wii U? Zero.
“We have no content in development for the Wii U currently,” EA spokesman Jeff Brown confirmed with Kotaku. He said that the releases of Mass Effect 3, Need for Speed Most Wanted, FIFA and Madden “represented EA delivering on its E3 2011 partnership.”
Several schools of though have popped up in light of this revelation. The first, as any critic of the Wii U will quickly and loudly tell you, is that the Wii U sucks and doom doom DOOM. However, there are more rational theories out there.
One story circulates around the idea that when the Wii U was in development, EA approached Nintendo to use their storefront, Origin, as opposed to Miiverse and eShop. Nintendo, widely-known for being insular with their work, shot EA down; as such, EA proverbially picked up their toys and left, leaving only a few late ports behind.
The other prominent one revolves around EA’s notorious reputation for microtransactions. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has openly said that DLC should only feature to enhance the game, and that a full retail package should always be presented up front. This goes starkly against EA’s charge-for-everything strategy as of late, and the two company egos could not see eye-to-eye, with EA running to Microsoft and Sony who also embraced the nickel-and-dime microtransaction and downloadable content movements.
It will be interesting to see the language surrounding as well as between the two companies at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles next month.
So what’s your take? Is this a mountain that Nintendo needs to scale, or simply a mountain out of a molehill? Is Nintendo standing up to the greedy heads of EA, or is this an omen of things to come for the Wii U? Let me hear your thoughts.