EA confirms it has dropped support for the Wii U... but not permanently

Labels president says publisher will release more games if Nintendo sells more consoles

 

EA has dropped support for the Nintendo Wii U, a senior executive has confirmed.

That decision isn't permanent though, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau has said.

Should Nintendo sell more Wii U consoles in the next couple of months, EA will begin supporting the console again.

However, currently the numbers just don't add up for EA to continue supporting the format, he told Joystiq.

He pointed to sales of Need for Speed as an example of how despite the company putting out great content, it just isn't selling because of a lack of consoles in homes.

"The only thing they can do to fix it is to sell more boxes," he stated. "We're a rational company, we go where the audience is. We publish games where we think we can make a great game and hit a big audience, and make money. That's why we're here, that's why we have an industry.

"We shipped four games [for the Wii U]. We shipped Madden, FIFA, Need for Speed and Mass Effect. In fact, the last Need for Speed shipped 60 days ago had a pretty good Metacritic.

"It was a good game. It wasn't a schlocky port, we actually put extra effort into getting everything to work. And it's just not selling because there's no boxes."

Nintendo responded, adding that it and EA shared a common goal – increasing the number of Wii Us sold.

"EA is a great partner of ours, they've had games on our platforms before," Nintendo of America's head of corporate communications Charlie Scibetta stated. "They want what all third parties want and what we want: for the install base to grow."

However, Nintendo faces a number of challenges in achieving that.

Just last month, industry analyst Michael Patcher said that Nintendo needed to sell more consoles before Xbox One and PS4 come out if it is to have any chance of proving to be a viable platform.

He put the blame squarely on a lack of compelling titles for the console. He added that while there are anticipated titles in the pipeline, releasing them when they are scheduled would be too little, too late.

It's something EA's Gibeau recognises and agrees with.

"Nintendo is a good partner and never count 'em out and all that. Never count them out, but right now we're focused on PS4 and Xbox One and from our perspective we'll look at the Wii U, we'll continue to observe it. If it becomes a viable platform from an audience standpoint, we'll jump back in."

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