Riccitiello frustrated at lack of Wii success
EA CEO suggests Nintendo needs to release more titles to generate interest in format
EA's CEO John Riccitiello has noted his frustration at the low sales of Wii software, and suggested Nintendo needs to release more first-party titles in order to generate interest in the format.
Speaking during a call to investors last night, he admitted sales on the Wii were poorer than expected – despite his belief that EA is releasing the best third-party content on the console.
"To be honest with you, I think the Wii platform has been a little weaker than we had certainly anticipated. And there is no lack of frustration to be doing that at precisely the time where we have the strongest third-party share," Riccitiello told investors.
"Frankly, I think they need more beats in the year than they get out of a first-party slate – to be able to have the Wii software platform perform as well as they would like. We are building the products that I think the most highly rated on the platform and at this point in time, generating the most revenue of any third-party platform."
Nintendo needs to partner with third-parties at retail, said Riccitiello, to help both achieve success on a format suffering slower sales than last year.
"I think driving revenues up on that platform from where we already are, which is up substantially from where we were a year ago, we are reaching out to Nintendo to find ways to partner to push third-party software harder.
"Wii is where we are missing it and so I really do think that the opportunity exists to find different ways to partner with first party in this case to sort of help establish in the minds of the consumer legitimacy of some of these other brands when they are going out multiplatform because very, very few multiplatform titles are succeeding on the Wii."
However, Riccitiello did mention that he does not expect third-parties to achieve any success in Asian markets on the Wii, and reaching the installed base of over 50 million consoles would not be realistic.
"I would point out, by the way, the 50 million number of course includes Asia or Japan and I don’t think any of the Western companies are likely to participate much at all on the Wii platform in Japan, so the addressable market we see is just a little bit below 40 million but that is still an important opportunity."