Recently EA has announced that it won’t be bringing the 25th anniversary of its popular Madden football series to the Wii U. The game will be titled Madden 25 and will be on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at game launch. The game—developed by the EA Tiburon studio—is currently having a huge 25th anniversary poll to see who will be on the cover. The brackets for the poll feature 32 of the “all-time NFL greats” against 32 of the current NFL greatest players.
With EA not releasing Madden 25 on the Wii U, it marks the first time a Madden title hasn’t been on a Nintendo console or handheld since 1991. An EA Sports representative released the following statement: “We will not be releasing a Wii U version of Madden NFL in 2013. However, we have a strong partnership with Nintendo and will continue to evaluate opportunities for delivering additional Madden NFL products for Nintendo fans in the future.”
Even though EA has released Madden 2013, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Mass Effect 3, and FIFA 13, on the Wii U, the announcement comes as a piece of sour news to Nintendo fans. There have been several other titles that EA have decided to pass on in regards to getting material on the console such as Battlefield 3, Dead Space 3, FIFA 14, and Crysis 3. As a matter of fact, Crysis 3 was actually completed for Wii U and running. A company doesn’t have to release each of their games on a console, but highly desired games such as the ones listed—which are coming to current generation consoles—not coming to all next generation consoles (especially one that is out now) smacks of sourness.
Also, it’s a sports title. For most part, those can run on any current or next generation during its period that and could ultimately be put on those consoles. That means it definitely isn’t a case of the Wii U “not being powerful enough”. Even with graphics advancements on say the Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii a sports title would’ve been released on PS2 and Xbox for at least two more editions before support was ended.
Not putting Madden 25 doesn’t hurt EA and it doesn’t hurt the Wii U because it’s one game. However, there are a number of top tier titles from EA that should actually be on Wii U. Not only that, but third party support is something the Wii U could really use and EA is a company that could help as it is one of the true titans in game development and publishing since it pumps out a ton of games annually.
Putting Madden 25 on the Nintendo console could definitely help the Wii U. It’s a title that people will buy and it can move consoles. This goes for any of their titles. Even though EA has gotten a bad rap lately, they still make quality games and their fanbase is still very strong.
Consider this: the Wii U will be the cheapest next generation console on the market when the other consoles join the fray. Releasing the game on Wii U would move consoles if people want the game, want it on a new console, and want it inexpensively. From EA’s end, making the game for Wii U and pressing even a few copies would be more copies sold. If people were getting it for Wii U and at the current price of the console, that’s quite a few titles moved.
There are definitely EA fans on the Wii U who would love to see these games just like there are Rockstar fans on the console would love to see the Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead series on the Nintendo. Personally, I would love to see either of the series on the Wii U especially with how the Wii Pad could add to gameplay. From EA’s end, it would be easier to do games for the PS3 and Xbox 360 or even the PS4 and Xbox 720 given that in the case of the EA Sports titles, the games wouldn’t be too different from each other—especially with the control scheme and button mapping.
The Wii U features a very different set up that would need to be taken into consideration in development. The online functionality would be the greatest difference among consoles and is also one of the things that appeal to developers. From a business viewpoint, the titles are guaranteed to see on the 360 and PS3.
One of the beliefs among Nintendo fans is that the reason that EA has cancelled a number of anticipated titles for the Wii U is because Nintendo decided to pass on EA’s Origin digital gaming portal—which is similar to Valve’s Steam—and there is some bitterness there. There could definitely be some validity to that as EA was really banking on the Wii U to carry Origin as the next Xbox will obviously stick with Xbox Live—which makes Microsoft a lot of money given that Gold charges you twice to use your internet to do stuff—and PlayStation 4 will run with Steam (which works wonderfully).
Had Wii U been the vehicle for Origin, it most definitely would’ve gotten these games without question. EA found a way to get on Wii U by requiring all its titles to have an Origin account for online play, so it got there at least.
It should be noted that while EA said Madden 25 wouldn’t be on Wii U this year, that doesn’t count out that it could be on the console at the start of 2014. While it might not mean anything, if the PS4 and Xbox 720 manage to get Madden 25 this year, it could definitely lend validity to there being a grudge. Madden 25 will launch August 27 for the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles.
If you’ve been following this situation, what do you think of Nintendo and EA’s relationship and of popular franchises not making it to the Wii U?