The boss of Electronic Arts’ games labels admits the company has sent a vague, if not conflicting messages about its intentions on the Wii U. But with the BBC he wasn’t going to be more specific about what games, if any, they’d be making for the console in the future.
“We didn’t make it easy for the market to figure out our stance on the Wii U, that’s for sure,” Frank Gibeau told the BBC in this interview.
That’s putting it mildly.
Two years ago, then-CEO John Riccitiello took the stage to declare an “unprecedented partnership” with Nintendo at E3 2011. That statement has been mocked and made into a meme since, as Electronic Arts has apparently ceased all development for the Wii U. A statement from the company’s top spokesman in mid-May said as much, though later EA’s chief operating officer moved the company’s posture away from that claim, saying there were titles in development. Meantime, Tweets from an EA Sports software engineer that the console was “crap” and Nintendo is “walking dead” proved unhelpful.
To this ferment, Gibeau now adds that “Do we have developers inside Electronic Arts that are watching the Wii U and understanding how it’s developing? Yes, we’re absolutely doing that. Do we have active development of Wii U titles that we’re ready to publicly announce right now? No we do not.”
What’s been most curious to me about this posture is not so much the conflicting statements, nor the fact EA Sports — joined by NBA 2K14 and Pro Evolution Soccer 14 — will have no offerings for the console. It’s that EA Sports, in this statement on Monday, said it is making a version of FIFA 14 for everything but the Wii U — the Wii included. And that’s after last year’s Wii version, which was just about the worst thing a sports video game could be — a reconditioned roster update.
At any rate, action — or in this case, inaction — speaks louder than words.