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EA making Wii fitness game

Moore reveals "western" workout title for newly created Freestyle label

EA Sports president Peter Moore has revealed his division is working on a fitness game for Wii that utilises the balance board peripheral.

The unannounced title will release under the newly-created Freestyle label and focus on more "western" cardio-vascular workouts, compared with the "eastern holistic fitness" of Nintendo's Wii Fit.

Speaking during a major three-day EA Sports showcase at the publisher's Vancouver HQ, Moore spoke of his admiration for Nintendo's breakthrough hit and the opportunities it has created.

"We're watching very closely what the Wii Fit board does," he said. "We think we have to have a role to play with that mum – the kids have gone to school, she's got 45 minutes on her own, the Wii is there, it's the first console she's ever liked because she can do things herself. And we're working on stuff, trying to work out how we can use EA Sports applications there."

But Moore, a former physical education instructor, insisted EA's product would go down a different route from Wii Fit, with a greater focus on strenuous fun.

"I need to have a point of difference," he explained. "We also need to make sure we're delivering something that's truly exercise. I'll call [Wii Fit] more eastern fitness, where it senses weight and balance, like Tai-Chi. It's more about holistic fitness. I don't think the board is going to take a pounding. We need to look more at western fitness in which I can actually be moving and start to sweat a little bit, and that's what we're working on right now."

While the former Xbox boss would not be drawn on specifics, he was keen to emphasise that EA, like Nintendo, was focusing on fitness through "fun".

"It can't feel like a workout," he added. "The team has to figure out, how do I smile while I'm doing this? You play soccer for 90 minutes; if I say you're going to run five miles you're not gonna want to do that. But you run for five miles playing soccer and you've had a good time.

"The difference is you're distracted. We need to distract people and not make this exercise feel like work, but like they're having fun. So mini-games, things where you're actually laughing out loud, that's the stuff we're working on. It's something I've always been passionate about, and who better than us to go and play in that market?"

EA Sports Freestyle replaces the previous 'Big' brand, with cartoon boxing title Facebreaker confirmed as the first release on the label, due later this year.

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Johnny Minkley: Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.
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