Electronic Arts has been the premiere shareholder in the video game sports market. It might seem like an open world of flourishing developers, but when you really think about it, EA holds licensing for the majority of professional sports. The EA Sports camp is responsible for the NHL, FIFA and Madden football titles. This doesn’t include the dabble in tennis or the Tiger Woods golf titles. Okay, Konami, you can have PES.
So, why is it important to look at the ownership of sports games amongst all other genres? Well, on one end, sports video games own significant percent of the current plane. Oh, did we forget SSX? Not only that, the Nintendo Wii U seemed to get hustled out with only 2013 releases of Madden and FIFA, which differs from the Wii and its more casual approach to sport games.
With that being said, it feels like EA not supporting the Wii U beyond its initial launch does more than just limit the games coming to the console. This creates a divide between parents and kids. With the most recent financials
posted Oct. 29th, it seems that Wii and Wii U consoles only account for 1% of EA's total sales. Yikes.
Unlike Nintendo, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 aren’t necessarily synonymous with “family” themed gaming. Sure there are select Kinect games and a handful, handful, of PlayStation titles that are genuinely geared towards families, none as invested as those on the Wii/Wii U. C’mon, we know what the Wii U is there for. It’s a console for gamer parents and entertainment enthusiasts. It satisfies the need to keep up with that Jones family, plus the kids aren't left out of the gaming loop.
So, what about our friend Wii U?
EA dodging the Wii U is like trying to avoid a crazy ex at a party. It’s almost inevitable that the two won't come to a swashbuckling collision. Yet, unlike the awkwardness that would have followed such confrontation, there hasn’t been much of anything. Well, besides Need for Speed: Most Wanted
. Hip, hip…okay.
Not supporting the Wii U even with a port of Madden 25 or FIFA 14 is probably one of the biggest slaps in the face for a hardware/console developer. That is, if Nintendo isn’t pressuring for GamePad controls or some other motion specific feature. This, in the case of the current console generation, doesn’t seem that far apart from expectations of Microsoft and the Kinect. Voice commands make a game “Better with Kinect”? Yeah, right.
There are many questions that I’m sure are flooding your brain. What do you suggest then? Well, tell me why the Wii U deserves it? In all honesty, I think it’s more of a question of moral/economic value to the video game industry. Why don’t “we,” as in EA, support a family friendly console?
While I’m sure EA has its scratch, scrilla, dinero…etc., invested in the Battlefield and Madden titles on other consoles, there’s no reason why it can’t support the Nintendo Wii U. I mean, c’mon, despite it being under-powered by comparison to next-gen consoles, it’s one unique piece of hardware. The GamePad has a 6.2" screen and brings the joy of tablet gaming to the console. Even without the use of the Wii U GamePad, the Controller Pro hosts up to 28-hours of gameplay.
So, throw it a freakin’ bone! read