EA’s near abandonment of Nintendo hardware could be about to change.
NintendoLife reports not only that EA is already in possession of NX dev kits, which would be in line with previous reports, but also that meetings are planned in the coming weeks that the platform holder hopes will get EA on board as a key partner for its new console.
Specifically, it is claimed that items high on the agenda include marketing budgets and potential platform support from EA Sports. Regarding marketing, EA wants Nintendo to increase its activity around key sports events. EA Sports support, meanwhile, would be dependent on Nintendo’s plans to win back sports fans who have migrated to PlayStation and Xbox.
It is claimed that EA is allegedly unhappy about Nintendo’s past unwillingness to bundle EA games with its hardware, and would like that policy to change. EA is also pressuring Nintendo to make more media streaming apps available for NX than it did on Wii U, as it believes services such as the WWE Network and MLB.TV are important to the sports audience.
In 2011 then EA boss John Riccitiello famously declared that the Wii U marked the start of an unprecedented” partnership between the two companies. However, relations soured very shortly after the Wii U’s launch thanks to the colossal flops of titles such as Mass Effect, Need for Speed and FIFA.
In public EA continued to boast of its strong partnership” with Nintendo but this was not reflected by its publishing schedules, from which Nintendo soon became completely absent.
In 2013 the publisher admitted that it would only return to Wii U publishing if Nintendo could successfully grow the machine’s user base, something which of course it has struggled to do.
Yesterday Ori and the Blind Forest dev Moon Studios warned Nintendo that NX will struggle at launch if more efforts aren’t made to secure third party launch titles.