Nintendo’s Wii U has been delivered yet another piece of bad news.
EA, which just earlier this month touted its “strong relationship” with Nintendo has confirmed that as of right now it does not have a single game in development for Wii U.
The saga has worrying echoes about the standoff between EA and Sega in the late 1990s. Back then EA, supposedly irritated by Sega’s failure with the Saturn, threatened to shun its new console, the Dreamcast. When Sega scoffed, EA did just that.
Dreamcast lasted a little over two years before being discontinued.
Of course, this situation today is very different. While EA’s Jeff Brown confirmed the bad news to Kotaku, he also stressed that future development of games for the machine remains a possibility – presumably if Nintendo can successfully reverse its fortunes.
Back in June 2011 EA boss John Riccitiello joined Nintendo head Saturo Iwata on stage at E3 to heap praise on the new machine and assert his company’s commitment.
Indeed, EA stuck true to its word with not only the expected FIFA release but also a surprise port of BioWare RPG Mass Effect 3 and a technically accomplished port of Need for Speed Most Wanted.
Sales of Mass Effect 3 on Wii U have never been divulged, but in the UK at least they were bafflingly low.
But since then a host of EA games have come and gone without so much as a sideways glance toward Nintendo’s machine.
It’s safe to say that the absence of EA titles on Wii U will hurt it far less than it would a Sony or Microsoft machine. But so much in this industry is about confidence and when one of the biggest publishers in the world publicly displays its lack of confidence there’s a danger that it could create a domino effect.