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EA making Wii U games, but focusing on next-gen

Electronic Arts makes a u-turn on Wii U development comments

Last week, Electronic Arts corporate communication head Jeff Brown said that the publisher has no games in development for Nintendo's Wii U. Today at the Stifel Nicolaus 2013 Internet, Media and Communications Conference, EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen said that the company is creating Wii U titles, but its major focus is on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

"You know, I think Nintendo's business was more [an] extension of their last console," Jorgensen said, according to a report by Polygon. "I think what the consumer will find is a lot more powerful gameplay with the new boxes that are coming out, and a lot of excitement, but it'll remain to be seen as to the services associated with those as to how consumers decide which direction they might want to go."

Jorgensen's statement does leave us with the question of which games EA has planned for Wii U. The publisher's internal Frostbite 3 engine doesn't support the console, meaning games like Battlefield 4, Dragon Age III, the next Mass Effect, and the upcoming Star Wars titles can't come to the console without a different engine. EA Sports also told Eurogamer that Madden NFL 25 and FIFA 14 aren't Wii U-bound, the latter due "disappointing" sales. There's not much left in EA's existing portfolio to work with, though that doesn't preclude Wii U-only games like the Wii spin-off Dead Space: Extraction.

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Latest comments (13)

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 3 years ago
How many U-turns are they gonna make before they make up their mind!?
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
"I think what the consumer will find is a lot more powerful gameplay with the new boxes that are coming out, and a lot of excitement, but it'll remain to be seen as to the services associated with those as to how consumers decide which direction they might want to go."
There's the "tell" - You can do the damn same "experience" on the Wii U if you're willing to work harder. Last week seemed to be more about leveraging the devices that will generate EA more profit (based on scores and a more dedicated user base that buys certain key franchises in more volume on other consoles) and what teams can do with that "more powerful" hardware that's not stamped with a Nintendo logo.

Hell, if Frostbite can run on a mobile device, you can't tell me a team dedicated to optimizing it for the Wii U can't do something original and "as powerful" at some point down the road... just sayin'...
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Andreia Quinta Creative & People Photographer, Studio52 London3 years ago
EA contradicting themselves about something they said only days ago? This is unprecedented!
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Show all comments (13)
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
This is painful, more like. Not to get all high-and-mighty, but I can't think of many other companies (inside or outside the games industry) that seem quite so rudderless and without-a-clue as EA.
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 3 years ago
Oh, how I laughed!

I guess this is all part of the "unpredictability" at the end of a console cycle that everyone keeps talking about? :)
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
Hmmm. Come to think of it I had a "Gabe Newell complaining about the horrible PS3 hardware a few years back only to eat his words a few years later" flashback about two weeks ago. I'm hoping EA wises up and has some team just make a damn great Wii U title that shows they CAN indeed do fine work on the thing. I guess we'll see...
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Isaac Kirby Studying Computer Games Development, University of Central Lancashire3 years ago
I'm sure with "Wii-U" and "U-turn" there's a good pun that needs a new home.
Either way it's EA saying "when we can make money on it on Wii-U, we will". Not complete desertion, just acknowledging that it will picks its fights carefully. Can anyone blame them?
I can see a something similar to what happens with handhelds developing: A game coming out at the same time, with same Brand, slightly different name etc. With a more suited experience to the platform. EA just has to pick the games carefully.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.3 years ago
So....no different than it has been for the past 30 years with EA on Nintendo.

Crysis averted.

There's a pun for you, Isaac.
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers3 years ago
It's all well and good to say you're working on games on a theoretical basis, but unless we know what games they are planning and when they'll come out the sentiment isn't worth all that much. As the article mentions, certain high profile franchises are already off the table for this year.
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster3 years ago
Crysis averted.
It really was for Wii U =/
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Ian Lambert Software Engineer, Criterion Games3 years ago
>> "...just make a damn great Wii U title..."

Need for Speed: Most Wanted U. You're welcome.
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Jack Pochop Studying Telecommunications, Indiana University3 years ago
Let's hope this doesn't mean cheap, exclusive Star Wars games on the Wii U. Please, no lightsaber sims.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.3 years ago
>> "...just make a damn great Wii U title..."

Need for Speed: Most Wanted U. You're welcome.
Thank you indeed.

The bright spot on the unfortunate EA story.
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