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EA reaffirms strong relations with Sony, Nintendo

Execs say FIFA 14 Xbox One giveaway wrongly perceived as a strategic tilt toward Microsoft

A rash of recent exclusivity deals and cross-promotions between Microsoft and Electronic Arts is not indication that the publisher is throwing its weight behind the Xbox One maker, according to multiple reports out of Gamescom this week. Speaking with CVG, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau stressed the publisher remains platform agnostic.

"One of the things that struck me this week is how a tactical deal with one of our platform partners has been blown out and perceived as strategic tilt - that's a messaging error on our part. There is no strategic tilt," Gibeau said.

He added that Sony is executing well on its PlayStation 4 promotion to date, praising the company for its indie outreach, as well as being "clear and disciplined and consistent with their policies." And while there may not be much right now in the way of EA-Sony cross-promotions, Gibeau noted "it's a long cycle," and said both the PS4 and Xbox One are important to EA.

While Gibeau didn't extend that importance to the Wii U, EA Sports executive VP Andrew Wilson discussed the publisher's relationship with Nintendo in a separate interview with IGN.

"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," Wilson said.

Wilson also addressed the perception that EA has been leaning Microsoft's way, and like Gibeau, stressed the company's neutrality in the console wars.

"You know I think we'll have a great relationship with Microsoft for the foreseeable future," Wilson said. "But I also don't think that means we won't have a great relationship with Sony. I mean at the end of the day we're a platform agnostic company. We have great relationships with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. There's different things we do with different partners on different titles and different franchises."

This week, EA announced that it would be giving away a copy of FIFA 14 with every Xbox One sold at launch. Beyond that, the FIFA Ultimate Team Legends mode will be exclusive to Microsoft's consoles this year, Xbox One will receive timed exclusivity on Battlefield 4 DLC, and Respawn's much-anticipated Titanfall will be coming to PC and Xbox One, but not PS4.

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Latest comments (4)

Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games3 years ago
i dunno about Sony, but when it comes to Nintendo.. yeah right!
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.3 years ago
It's unprecedented, Yiannis, unprecedented, I tell ya'.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 3 years ago
Well EA has seemed to be leaning towards microsoft more than SONY. Time exclusive DLC and games like FiFA14 and Titenfall Xbox exclusive.... sorry EA... its not that you look like, but YOU ARE LEANING CLOSER TO MICROSOFT. I dont know how much they are paying you, but it better be worth the amount of gamers that will miss out on that content. And as a guy who is going to purchase a PS4 on launch, thats how I feel.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 23rd August 2013 11:29pm

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Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
I don't blame EA because uneducated people usually do blow things out of proportion. EA only benefits when multiple systems are doing good so they occasionally come along to balance the scales. Take this gen for instance. Everybody knows that all Call of Duty DLC gets released on Microsoft's systems first and that helps sell versions of that game for the 360. So EA decided to release all Battlefield 3 DLC first for the PS3 to help balance things out. They took it a step further by seeing that the 360 was the better selling of the two consoles in the US and decided to start releasing extra exclusive content for the PS3 versions of their games(Dante's Inferno, Medal of Honor, Battlefield 3, Dead Space 2, etc). And yet nobody has been crying that EA has been leaning towards Sony this gen despite all of the exclusive content the PS3 version of games gets over the 360 version.

Now lets look at next gen. Microsoft wasn't doing so well in the PR department and it probably seemed like the PS4 was going to outsell it over in the UK due to preorders. So what does EA do? They once again come along to balance the scales by making the XB1 version more enticing by offering the most popular video game over there free of charge. And with that single move EA has insured that both systems will do well and that they will profit from both. EA is a much better company than they get credit for.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 24th August 2013 2:41am

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