EA talks Wii U support – could bring more games if Wii U turns around, tech difficulties running Frostbite

Posted under News, Wii U
June 26, 2013 by (@NE_Brian)

Eurogamer gathered up quotes from a whole bunch of folks at EA, who talked about the company’s dwindled Wii U support. One of the more common points discussed concerns the system’s poor sales and overall status at the moment. If things were to turn around, EA would be more willing to support the system.

DICE was also approached to comment on the lack of Battlefield titles on Wii U. The studio noted that bringing the series to Wii U “is a technical problem at its core because the Frostbite engine is not designed to run on that hardware, and the hardware is quite different from the next-gen consoles and the previous gen consoles.” But like the EA executives, DICE mentioned that it would be open to working with Wii U if its situation can improve.

Head past the break for the full commentary from EA and DICE.

Patrick Soderlund, boss of EA Games Labels, on Wii U support…

“[Need for Speed: Most Wanted] was the last one we did. Right now I don’t have any other games in development for the Wii U. We are, frankly, hard at work with what we have in front of us and with the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. We’re focusing on those for now and getting that right. When you have new technology like these two platforms represent and you have game teams focused on it, you can only do so much. And even though we have a lot of people we have decided for now… and I can only speak for my label… that we focus on the previous platforms, PS3 and Xbox 360, as well as PC, Xbox One and PS4.”

Soderlund on how EA’s decision to abandon Wii U was business-oriented…

“When you run a business – and we all run businesses – you have to make decisions that are good for the consumers, and the people who work inside this company and good for our shareholders. We put our eggs in the basket where we think they’ll matter the most. I understand some people will be disappointed by that.”

“Our job as game creators and executives is to be where the gamers are. Frankly, it’s as simple as that.”

EA Sports boss Andrew Wilson on why FIFA 14 won’t be on Wii U…

“Listen, we went out in strong support of the Nintendo Wii U, and we actually built a number of games as a company including FIFA for the Wii U. For us, in all honesty, the take-up there around sports gaming on that platform wasn’t where it needed to be in order for the continued support of FIFA on that platform at this time. The reality was it wasn’t there. We have to build and invest in games for the broad gamer base so we can ensure we deliver the best possible games.”

Wilson defending FIFA 13 for Wii U, which had missing features…

“Listen, I think we built a really solid game. We were very happy with the game. We did the best to take advantage of the capabilities and the features of the Nintendo Wii U. Fun is a subjective thing. But what I can say is we put everything we could into making that the best possible game with the tools we had at hand.”

Wilson on how EA Sports could re-evaluate its support when the sports install base grows on Wii U…

“Nintendo’s a fantastic partner to us. We’ve had a long relationship with them. We certainly never count them out. I know they are working diligently to grow their install base and grow their install base of sports gamers, which by default will grow their install base of FIFA gamers. And as that happens we may be given cause to re-evaluate where we go and what we focus on.”

Battlefield executive producer Patrick Bach on whether EA would have the same technical problems with Frostbite on Wii U had the console been selling like hot cakes or was EA simply eyeing a less-than-spectacular return on Wii U releases…

“It’s both. If the Wii U was immensely popular we would probably put more focus into seeing how we could mitigate this, because it is a technical problem. It is a technical problem at its core because the Frostbite engine is not designed to run on that hardware, and the hardware is quite different from the next-gen consoles and the previous gen consoles.”

Bach on whether or not the argument about having tech difficulties stands up with Frostbite 2 appearing to work on Wii U fine…

“From our perspective it’s not as powerful as it should be to be able to run a Battlefield game. Straight out of the box, as in Frostbite 3, it doesn’t run that well on the Wii U, which means it takes a lot of time and energy from us that would then take from something else. So, we made the decision to say, no, let’s not take away the focus from the PlayStations and the Xboxes and the PCs to do this. At the end of the day it’s about focus and priorities. If we could press a button to move it over to Wii U, of course we could make a Wii U SKU, but it would take some substantial time to do it. I know some fans get very upset when we say that, but it’s true. There’s a reason why not all games are on the Wii U platform.”

Bach on how DICE is open to returning to the Wii U if Nintendo can turn the console around…

“Absolutely. Of course. There’s no reason why we couldn’t focus down and make a Nintendo GameBoy version of it as well. It’s all about where you put your focus and how you scale things. Where do you scale down? Where do you put your team efforts? We need to do what is right for the franchise and what feels right in our gut. If you have to scale your game down in the wrong places too much, then you lose some of the core values of what your game stands for. It’s complicated. It’s more complicated than people would like it to be. I would love for us to be able to be on Samsung TVs as well, but we have to draw the line somewhere.”

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