The most glaring indictment of the Wii U’s poor performance to date is the fact that FIFA — one of the biggest-selling franchises worldwide, in any genre — is publishing for everything but Wii U. FIFA 14 will come out on the PSP. It will publish on the original Wii. There’ll be a version on the PS Vita, for heaven’s sake.
EA Sports may have been there on the Wii U’s launch day with its Madden and FIFA flagships, but the president of its games labels said bluntly it won’t be back unless and until that console starts selling. “The only thing [Nintendo] can do to fix it is to sell more boxes,” Frank Gibeau told Joystiq. “We publish games where we think we can make a great game and hit a big audience, and make money.”
Gibeau pointed out that EA has published four games on Wii U, including, most recently, Need for Speed: Most Wanted. “It was a good game,” he told Joystiq, pointing to its Metacritic rating (an 86). “It wasn’t a schlocky port. We actually put extra effort into getting everything to work.”
That’s a key factor. In processing power, the Wii was actually a generation behind its contemporaries, with a controller that required special development attention. EA still made games for it because the Wii was a sales phenomenon. The Wii U has a special controller and, after the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 arrive later this year, its hardware will be behind its generational peers. Except the Wii U has a fraction of it’s predecessor’s installation base.