EA Sports boss Andrew Wilson has reiterated the company’s stance on Wii U. Wilson says that the team develops games for platforms with a substantial user base and the Wii U just doesn’t have that at the moment. Wilson then said that they have brought sports games to the platform, but they haven’t sold as many units as the company envisioned. He concluded by saying that if a sizeable gamer base is on the platform in the future, then they will bring their vast array of sports related titles to the Wii U.
“I build for a userbase. I made games on Facebook because I thought people were there that wanted to play them. Then it became apparent to me that either I had the wrong game or they weren’t there. We had a strong offering on Wii U at launch. The platform hasn’t had the take-up. Our games hasn’t had the take-up we’d have liked. So at this moment we are not focused there. Now they could do a range of things that might change that situation, and we’d never count them out. And should there be a sizeable gamer base there in the future, we would build games for Wii U. But for us it’s less about building for a platform, and more about building for a group of gamers on a platform where they are. And sports gamers weren’t there.”
Earlier this year, EA Sports announced that its all-new Madden 25 is coming to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, leading people to believe the game was skipping Nintendo’s latest console. And today, a representative for the publisher confirmed that the Madden series will not arrive on Wii U in 2013. This may come to a surprise to some, as it will mark the first time the series will skip Nintendo platforms since 1991, and because the last title in the series, Madden NFL 13, was a Wii U launch title.
“We will not be releasing a Wii U version of Madden NFL in 2013. However, we have a strong partnership with Nintendo and will continue to evaluate opportunities for delivering additional Madden NFL products for Nintendo fans in the future.”
-EA Sports representative
EA Sports has revealed that the next Madden NFL game, which will be the successor to Madden NFL 13, will be released on August 27th. This year is the 25th anniversary of the franchise, and, therefore, based on the publisher’s official website, the next installment may be called Madden 25, instead of ‘Madden NFL 14.’ EA Sports says more details regarding Madden 25 are coming soon.
Because EA Sports is bringing FIFA 13 and Madden NFL 13 to Nintendo’s forthcoming console, a Wii U version of NHL 13 is plausible. An EA representative was asked whether Wii U will receive the upcoming hockey video game, and the representative replied by saying “definitely keep your eyes open in the coming weeks.” NHL 13 will be released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in September.
Madden NFL 13 producer Yuri Bialoskursky was asked to describe the comfort level of the Wii U GamePad. Bialoskursky claims that, compared to traditional video game controllers, the Wii U GamePad is huge but gamers will get used to it, after playing with it for a while. According to Bialoskursky, the Wii U GamePad is not awkward to hold, doesn’t detract from gameplay, and “is actually very comfortable.”
How does the controller feel to you? The thing is so huge, it seems like it’s going to take a lot of getting used to for “Madden” fans that have been playing the game on other systems.
“There’s definitely going to be a period of adjustment there. That’s all out of our control, but when we’ve been playing it all throughout development, it’s not uncomfortable at all. The way that it’s laid out, the final controller, is actually very comfortable, and the way that it’s all laid out with our features, is all done in a way that isn’t intrusive to the game. It’s all done in the flow and the context of how the plays are supposed to game and the game really flows. It works really well.”
Although EA Sports’ FIFA 13 will be coming to Nintendo’s forthcoming console, the developer hasn’t revealed any Wii U-specific features. The executive producer of FIFA 13, David Rutter, is excited for the Wii U because the Wii U GamePad’s screen can offer a different perspective of things within the game. Rutter didn’t want to share any details about the Wii U version of FIFA 13 so that other developers won’t borrow any ideas prior to the game’s release.
Are you personally interested in it as a system?
“It’s pretty exciting actually. I’ve been talking to a bunch of the guys about the games that they’re working on here, and about what they want to do with Wii U or with SmartGlass and stuff like that. And if you look at it from a different perspective, I’m not going to tell you exactly what because it’s kind of competitive advantage, I think there were a few kind of ‘wow, that’s a pretty cool way of looking at it’ moments, so that idea of a second screen, I think it has some really, really big positives.”
EA Sports has revealed that they will be making Wii U announcements during an event that is scheduled in July. EA’s Mass Effect 3 was confirmed for Wii U during Nintendo’s E3 presentation, but EA Sports’ games, for Wii U, were not showcased during E3. We know that EA will bring their sports games to Nintendo’s upcoming console but expect to hear about Wii U exclusive features during the forthcoming event.
EA Sports boss, Peter Moore, recently divulged how the EA Sports team handled creating ‘causal’ games for Wii at this years Edinburgh Interactive conference.
“In all the games we made, everything was focused on making things more realistic, each year – particularly at the beginning of a cycle – sports games were used to show how realistic video games had become,” he said. “That was fine back in the early ’80s when there was a huge chasm beteen what the real world looked like and what games showed.”
“But then this thing [the Wii] came along and presented us with some challenges. The dynamics changed with the launch of the Wii – play and fun was coming back in, the demographic was changing enormously, and the amount of time to play was being compressed.”
“It was hard. A lot of people at that time thought they would move on from our studios – they wanted to chase the core consumer.” Moore explained that Wii Sports was considered a serious rival, and that EA Sports staff were ‘unwilling’ to cater to the ‘casual’ consumers (now the majority of the market) and couldn’t handle the need to step back in terms of visuals.
- Peter Moore, EA Sports
EA Sports recently appointed President, Peter Moore, causally let slip that his company are considering producing a game similar in style to the phenomenally popular Wii Fit.
Branding it under the company’s ‘Freestyle’ label, Moore iterated that the title will be suitably different from Wii Fit with an apparent emphasis on fun rather than actual training.