Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 23, 2016

EA is laughable

Check out this story concerning NX and EA…

However, according to information we’ve been given from a solid source, it would appear that Nintendo and EA are looking to put the past behind them and hop back into bed with one another. Nintendo Life contributor Liam Robertson – a man known to have his finger on several pulses and an ear permanently fixed to the ground – has been speaking to “several” staffers at EA and has discovered that the publisher is holding meetings with Nintendo next month and support for NX is a primary topic. He has now exclusively given us access to the correspondence he’s been having with these sources.

It should come as no great shock to learn that EA has NX dev kits – we already know that they are out in the wild thanks to reports last year – but what is rather more surprising is Nintendo’s eagerness to get the company back on board after the disappointment of the Wii U. EA was apparently one of the first publishers to get access to NX development hardware, and from the information we’ve been given, Nintendo is citing EA as a key ally when it comes to making its next console a success.

 

Wait a minute! EA was a ‘key ally’ for the Wii U. Nintendo said it was an ‘unprecedented partnership’. If you look at that link, you’ll find that EA was demanding Origin be the only multiplayer choice for some of its games and other absurdities.

 

The sources claim that multiple meetings are lined up for March, and that EA has been discussing several points with Nintendo relating to marketing. These meetings will apparently decide how much support EA – or specifically, its EA Sports arm – will be giving Nintendo in the near future. The publisher understandably wants “a detailed plan” on how Nintendo intends to win over sports fans with NX hardware – something it failed to do with Wii U. EA is keen to learn how Nintendo intends to build up a large enough “sports” audience on NX, as this was apparently one of the key reasons for the publisher abandoning Wii U – it simply wasn’t seen as the console of choice for followers of sports.

What is conspicuously missing is the Wii console which has the best selling sports game, or game in general, ever made called Wii Sports. Nintendo didn’t do the same thing for Wii U in part to let EA have the sports dollars. But EA didn’t make a sports hit on Wii U. It is not Nintendo’s fault that EA’s Wii U titles suck.

Look at how this company just issues demands.

EA is being quite bold and is asking Nintendo to spend more advertising dollars during televised sporting events like NFL games, NBA games, MLB games, World Cup matches and the World Series in order to claim this audience. The publisher is citing the fact that both Sony and Microsoft spend a large portion of cash during such events, and that EA’s titles are given prominence in promotional campaigns.

Nintendo didn’t do that at all with Wii, and it worked out very well for EA. But the Wii doesn’t exist in this story.

Another point of contention involves hardware bundles. Traditionally, Nintendo doesn’t bundle EA games with its consoles – unlike Microsoft and Sony. According to sources within EA, this is actually seen as something of an insult, and the company will be asking Nintendo to consider shipping NX consoles with leading EA Sports titles, such as FIFA and Madden. While this might smack of arrogance, it’s a tactic which has worked well on rival hardware, so there’s definitely logic to EA’s reasoning.

There’s no logic at all. If those games sold hardware, Nintendo would put them in. But they do not sell hardware.

Nintendo definitely wants sports gamers on its consoles, but keep in mind that this NX is most likely a handheld device. Did Microsoft or Sony market EA’s games on their handheld devices? Why doesn’t EA demand Microsoft make a handheld device so it can play EA games on it?

Finally, there’s the topic of applications. Sources claim that during a December meeting between EA and Nintendo executives, an EA exec “criticized Wii U for not having entertainment apps for MLB.TV, NBA, WWE Network, NHL Gamecenter Live, and the NFL”. The PlayStation 4 has all of those applications, and EA feels that this is key reason for the machine’s success among sports fans. The demand here is that Nintendo ensures NX is able to run such apps, or offer similar functionality to entice sports fans.

Wait a minute, what about the X-box One? If EA is happy with Xbox One and it doesn’t have those apps, then perhaps those apps aren’t necessary.

EA still remains to be a slimy company.

Here is how EA did the Wii. When the Wii came out, EA had only one tiny studio up in Canada or something to make the token NFL Wii game and maybe a few others. But the Wii was really, really popular which forced EA to bring their development to their bigger studios for Wii games.

Also missing from the story is the 3DS. EA isn’t crying about the 3DS because it has sold more than the Vita. If the NX sells more than anything, EA isn’t going to give a damn about any of the above ‘demands’.

EA is huffing and puffing like it is a driver of the markets. But EA isn’t. Should the NX sell a ton, EA will make more games for it. It is as simple as that.

What is going to sell the Nintendo console? It is going to be the Nintendo games. This has always been the case and will always be the case.

EA’s prescription for Nintendo is not to help the NX but to hurt the NX. EA has no interest in the NX succeeding. Aside from their token games to appease shareholders, the EA developers do not want to work on Nintendo hardware.

Strong third party support is important for console success, but what is more important is first party support. Where was EA when the Wii was successful? EA was trying to run away from it. Where was EA when the DS became successful? EA was wanting the PSP to outsell it. Where was EA when the NES came out? EA refused to make any games for it, hoped the NES would die like the Atari consoles, and was only forced by shareholders to eventually make games for it. In a similar way, this occurred for the Wii as well.

EA isn’t going to do shit unless the shareholders demand it. And the shareholders will not demand it unless NX sells big numbers. And the NX will not sell big numbers unless there is quality first party software.


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