Most third party publishers ditched Nintendo during the Wii U cycle. EA was one of them. After launching several of their high-profile games including Mass Effect 3, Need for Speed Most Wanted and Madden – EA’s support of the platform ground to a halt.
What about Nintendo NX? Does EA plan to support that platform? The BBC asked EA’s Patrick Soderlund if Battlefield One will show up on a Nintendo platform. Soderlund’s response? A wait and see approach.
“I personally and the company are huge fans of Nintendo, they’re the reason why I started making games,” Soderlund says. “We’re in constant communication with them and when they come to market something – and if it makes sense for us – we’ll be there.”
What makes sense for EA?
Nintendo is known for thinking outside the box. It was this kind of thinking that led, in part, to the Nintendo Wii craze. And EA was right there to support them. Everyone knows Nintendo likes to go against the grain when it comes to home consoles. And that’s why we love them.
EA isn’t afraid of Nintendo being different. What EA won’t do is spend time and money on a platform that isn’t viable. Take a look at their Wii output. A quick glance at the EA website shows 66 games on Wii. Every publisher was supporting the Wii during its prime. Even if their games were not successful, the massive audience meant they at least try.
Let’s compare that to the Wii U. EA published just four games.
Platform sales are everything for a publisher like EA. If the audience is there, EA will do whatever they can to tap into it. But if the sales don’t materialize, EA will sit on the sidelines.
Does Nintendo need third-party support?
We all know the answer to that question. Nintendo’s first-party lineup is usually great, but they need other publishers to fill in the rest of the calendar.
It’s going to be an uphill battle for the makers of Mario. There is no doubt about that. It will be more than four years since the launch of the Wii U when the Nintendo NX finally hits stores. And nearly as long since Nintendo has seen strong third-party support.
Publishers will be watching sales closely to determine if they want to jump in.
I’m not one to shout the importance of specs for a Nintendo platform, but it matters this go around. Games are only going to look better. And Nintendo needs a platform for these games to call home. I want the NX to be the spot where not only can I play the best of Nintendo, but the best of everything.
We do know one thing for sure. Nintendo will do what they believe in. They won’t let third-party publishers dictate their console vision. It’s been awhile since I’ve been excited about a Nintendo platform. I can’t wait to see what direction they decide to go.
What are your thoughts about third-party and the Nintendo NX? Does Nintendo need other publishers, or are their first-party offerings enough for you?