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Why is EA throwing a tantrum at Nintendo?


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#1 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1380

Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:57 PM

EA has been acting like complete babies, ever since Nintendo decided not to use Origin. Which was a great move on Nintendo's part. EA would've had too much control then.

So now, EA bashes Nintendo every chance they get. They have deliberately released games in ways to get people to think negatively about Wii U. Mass Effect 3 is a good example of this. Then next, a senior engineer publicly bashes the console which results in deleted tweets.

The Wii U has been proven to be more powerful than the 360 and ps3. Is it gonna be up to par with the nextbox and ps4? Obviously not, BUT the gap will not be as bad as between the ps360 and the wii.

Besides...We are reaching the point where photo realistic games won't impress anymore. Art style is becoming more important again..it leaves a bigger impression on the mind. I believe we all know Nintendo and its studios have great art direction

 

I really think the suits AND engineers/programmers at EA need to grow up a bit



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#2 Buster2000   Members   -  Reputation: 1624

Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:37 AM

It isn't only EA bashing the Wii U it is everybody.  It isn't just the power of the console that is making people doubt it.  It is the adoption rate and the attachment rate.  There really is no reason to develop for a console that nobody owns.  Also plenty of Devs got bitten by the previous wii which sold lots of consoles but had a very small attachment rate ( a large percentage of people who bought it only ever played wii sports and never bought another game).



#3 Gavin Williams   Members   -  Reputation: 652

Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:13 AM

Our perception of markets is absolutely ludicrous. Wii U has sold 3.5 million units, that sounds pretty good to me. To say that nobody owns a Wii U is far from the truth. The Wii outsold the other platforms, but it's 'casual' / Wii Sports mentality damaged it's brand. That might be why we are seeing weak sales. But mob mentality in consumers today is kinda out of control. People find it difficult to assess a product on it's own merits without over-accounting for the opinions of others. I agree that the perception of Wii software sales was probably weak (but I couldn't be bothered trying to confirm that), I'll take your word for it Buster. But Wii U is definitely a computer that can take on more serious titles and with the controller is open to more traditional games.

 

How many million units does it take for us to say .. ok, that's a viable platform ? I think for the Wii U, titles will make it or break it, but it is totally in a good position, with brand value and current numbers to move strongly into the future, but that will depend upon the titles coming out over the next year or two.

 

But to the point of the OP, if EA and Nintendo had a strategy conflict, I would tend to think that it would definitely lead to some words in the public arena. I don't like Origin that much, EA should talk with Nintendo about making a new combined distribution platform. Get some Nintendo know how behind it. Because I only use origin to play one or two games, for me it has absolutely no value beyond that. I think EA's ego has led them to believe that Origin is more valuable than it really is. Sure we have to have it installed to play EA games, but that's not how a distribution platform should work. EA have it wrong.



#4 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1380

Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:34 AM

EA != everybody. Alot of devs are still making games for it. How will a system sell if no devs make games for it, than they complain no ones buying it. Its a case of catch 22. Also I've found EA's business practice very questionable (FIFA 13 being the same as FIFA 12 except name change). Sure it aint the worst company. But worst game company? Most definitely.


Edited by ISDCaptain01, 21 May 2013 - 02:37 AM.


#5 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4684

Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:59 AM

EA is an US company, insofar their behaviour is not very unusual. Comparative and derogative advertizing against a non-US company such as Nintendo is pretty "normal". Of course it only works one way.

 

That said, I don't see anything special or innovative in Wii U which might possibly lead me into buying one. It isn't even necessary to "bash" Nintendo. Everybody can make games with stunning graphics and sound these days. Everybody does "online" these days. But to be awesome, you really need more than that.

 

Though of course I generally have no incentive to buy consoles at all (the Atari 2600 was the last one I owned), but... one of the things that really matter are the controllers, in my opinion. Controllers in the good old days, whether they be proportional or not, buttons or sticks, they all sucked.

Now, the original Wii controller is just fucking cool. Bowling and golfing by swinging the controller around? Awesome.

Kinect is even cooler - you are the controller. If it didn't come with that XBox live crap, I'd buy one of these at once.

 

Now, in comparison, a touchscreen... are you kidding me?



#6 Buster2000   Members   -  Reputation: 1624

Posted 21 May 2013 - 03:18 AM

Wii U has sold 3.5 million units, that sounds pretty good to me

 

It sounds like a good number to me too.  However from a developers point of view it is insignificant.  Tomb raider sold 3.5 million copies and then devs got laid off because it wasn't enough units.  If 3.5 million units is what it takes to turn a profit then that excludes the wii U from having any exclusive releases.  A lot of developers got bitten this console generation and a lot of others lost their jobs.   Some have abandoned console development completly to go back to PC or mobile titles and some have washed their hands complely and left the games industry.   EA has made people redundant nearly every month so far this year.  They are only going to take a gamble on a platform that has millions of users.



#7 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 29552

Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:58 AM

EA bashes Nintendo every chance they get. They have deliberately released games in ways to get people to think negatively about Wii U. Mass Effect 3 is a good example of this. Then next, a senior engineer publicly bashes the console which results in deleted tweets.

I missed these stories, and I'm too lazy to google. Can you post some links to these incidents?

The Wii U has been proven to be more powerful than the 360 and ps3.

[Citation needed] tongue.png

Wii U has sold 3.5 million units, that sounds pretty good to me.

There's also the "attach rate". e.g. generally a PS3 owner will buy more games than an Xbox owner, and the average Wii U owner won't buy any individual boxed games whatsoever.

#8 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:47 AM

Also I've found EA's business practice very questionable (FIFA 13 being the same as FIFA 12 except name change).

Are you talking about the Wii version? I worked on 12 for the Wii, and I can tell you the sales were below lackluster. I'm actually surprised they released a 13 at all.



#9 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:44 AM

Also I've found EA's business practice very questionable (FIFA 13 being the same as FIFA 12 except name change).

Are you talking about the Wii version? I worked on 12 for the Wii, and I can tell you the sales were below lackluster. I'm actually surprised they released a 13 at all.

 

I didn't know you worked for EA now. Congrats.

 

I wonder however if more game devs will make games for the Wii U because of [lower] production costs. Well after the PS4 and 720 release.


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#10 Gavin Williams   Members   -  Reputation: 652

Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:14 AM

Wii U has sold 3.5 million units, that sounds pretty good to me.

There's also the "attach rate". e.g. generally a PS3 owner will buy more games than an Xbox owner, and the average Wii U owner won't buy any individual boxed games whatsoever.

 

Ok, I can see how that is an important factor. The figures I worked out agree with what you are saying.

 

Device       games / console

---------------------------------------

Wii .......... 8.7

PS3 ........ 8.5

XBox 360. 4.7

Wii U ....... 3.7

 

Can the Wii U's attach rate be attributed to age of the console, after all, it's only been out for a few months. I would think the attach rate will grow over time, but I don't know.

 

Have there been any discussions on the similarities between PS4 and PC, and obviously Xbox 720 which I imagine will be essentially a Windows 8 or Windows RT machine. Nintendo have not embraced the PC model (as far as I know, and TBH I know very little about console development, so please take what I say from a non-experts perspective), but for developers I would say that the common underpinnings of PS4 - XBox720 - PC make that triumvirate a very attractive group of friends when building non-exclusive titles. That could put Nintendo on the more difficult side of the fence for developers as time goes on. But a few good titles on Wii U and it would seriously be OK.



#11 herbertsworld   Members   -  Reputation: 276

Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:04 PM

A lot of politics and I'm sure several NDAs will need to be broken to clear this up.

 

However, I would say the problem is really down to a combination of slow sales and a serious lack of 1st Party support which makes it difficult for anyone to develop AAA games for Nintendo right now.



#12 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 20363

Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:08 PM


EA bashes Nintendo every chance they get. They have deliberately released games in ways to get people to think negatively about Wii U. Mass Effect 3 is a good example of this. Then next, a senior engineer publicly bashes the console which results in deleted tweets.

I missed these stories, and I'm too lazy to google. Can you post some links to these incidents?

Only a single incident, and it was non-spectacular.


When a reporter asked, EA confirmed: "We have no games in development for the Wii U currently". That's it for the official statement.

That is the entirety of the official "tantrum" as the OP calls it.

Based on the fact that Nintendo has only sold 3 million of the consoles, I'm guessing it is a pretty smart business decision. But that is just my opinion.


After hearing the one-line statement that there were no Wii-U games in development by EA, lots of people took to their favorite social media sites, and a series of corporate bashing and counter-bashing ensued. Just the normal ultra-tight feedback loop of Internet vitriol. Nothing official, just the normal Internet background noise.


Among the people slinging mud back and forth was one random EA employee who sent out some tweets to his friends: "The Wii U is crap. Less powerful than an Xbox 360. Poor online/store. Weird tablet" ... "Nintendo are walking dead at this point."

Again it was nothing official, just a random employee stating their opinion to his friends on a public forum. Some people stupidly thought the random employee's opinion was actually some sort of quazi-official statement on behalf of the company. Again the ultra-tight feedback loop of vitriol took over, and suddenly his personal opinion tweets were being listed on news sites as statements from EA.

The only "tantrums" I have seen came from the people who bought a Wii-U and expected more games. The official PR statements from all sides have been quiet, which is why websites are turning to tweets and citing them as newsworthy.


It is just a non-event and a personal twitter comment being blown up to extremes. Again.
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#13 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1380

Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:28 PM

Than explain why crysis 3 was complete for Wii U and not released? What about frostbite not compatible for Wii u but for 360 and ps3 and even mobile? Why FIFA 13 a copy paste of FIFA 12 on Wii? I think EA has some beef with Nintendo

#14 joew   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3650

Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:19 PM

EA is an US company, insofar their behaviour is not very unusual. Comparative and derogative advertizing against a non-US company such as Nintendo is pretty "normal". Of course it only works one way.

You know that Sony is a Japanese company right?



#15 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7120

Posted 21 May 2013 - 04:37 PM

Its the Wii U's CPU that's under-powered -- It's three CPU cores are probably around on par with two of the Xbox's three CPU cores in scalar code, but the SIMD is only 64 bits wide (2 floats, vs 4 on other architectures) so suffers through code that's pretty typical in games. Furthermore, the GPU is leaps ahead of the 360 or PS3 in terms of graphics throughput, but its not a modern architecture, so it only has fairly rudimentary support for compute kernels, if any (which would be important offsetting the sub-par SIMD situation).

 

The trouble this presents for Nintendo is that its fairly straight-forward for a game to tune its graphical fidelity up or down to suit the available hardware, but its much more difficult to make the same game work across very different processing capacities. Within reason you can make things work, or simplify/remove things that go easily unnoticed, but for a current gen console to have (lets be generous) even processing power equipment to last-gen's CPUs, well, there's no way to bring the same experience to Wii U and the PS4 or XBox One -- you either need to pander to the lowest denominator, or you need to cut things out of the Wii U port to the point that its hardly the same game.

 

The Wii U also has staggeringly less RAM than the other contenders will, which is also a significant stumbling block. Particularly if you look at what we see going on in game design: graphics looks pretty good, we've got the resolution and the shading power we need, but its texture size and animation that are really being pushed. Those things eat RAM alive (a MIP-Mapped texture that's twice as wide and as tall as the alternative consumes 4x the memory). And of course, the would-be-game's data structures, though small by comparison to textures and other art assets, would be roughly the same size across platforms. Accounting for that, you've probably got to go down 2 mip levels on the Wii U vs PS4 or Xbox One, just to fit within memory (or simply look worse, or have some complex texture streaming system that might impact level design, or... any number of things that just don't look as good).


Edited by Ravyne, 21 May 2013 - 04:49 PM.


#16 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 20363

Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:00 PM

Than explain why crysis 3 was complete for Wii U and not released?

Money.

I have seen many games that were "complete" but never taken to market. The last set of development hoops -- getting first party certification -- can cost many hundred thousand dollars. Marketing for a major title costs millions more. The cost to put all the discs in shrink-wrapped packages costs money. Distributing those shrink-wrapped packages to stores costs money.

With only 3M consoles shipped, they probably figured it was better to mothball the project rather than throw more money at it.

Many game developers with decades of real-world experience can count their cancelled projects into the tens and twenties.

What about frostbite not compatible for Wii u but for 360 and ps3 and even mobile?

Again, money.

To port an engine from a functioning X360/PS3 code base and push it down to Wii-U's processing standards is a considerable effort. I don't know their team specifics, but I can easily imagine it costing in the $3M range. Moving to mobile is a complete rewrite, so it is a different story.

Why FIFA 13 a copy paste of FIFA 12 on Wii?

Again, money.

Look at sales numebers, FIFA Wii doesn't look like it has many customers. Compare the 0.7M Wii customers to the combined 10.4M on PS3 and X360 (which can share assets).

Would you invest much of your money in something that will only see 0.7M sales, or would you spend it on the 10.4M sales?

I think EA has some beef with Nintendo

Me too.

I think they are upset that Nintendo isn't helping their revenue stream very much. I also think they are upset that Wii-U didn't sell very well because that caused several projects to be mothballed.



Like I said, the "tantrum" is really just in the eyes of the OP and a few others who are not taking a broad view.

EA simply said that they have no games in the pipeline for Wii-U. As a business decision I find this very logicial. Why target a system that even if you sold a copy to every single console owner you could only get 3M copies (and realistically will see less than 1M sales), when you can hit 10M or more on other consoles for the same effort?

Some people didn't like it, started slinging mud and vitriol, some random game programmer made a comment, that comment got picked up and the mud-slingers treated it as official, etc.

It is a big deal out of nothing.

Edited by frob, 21 May 2013 - 05:10 PM.

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#17 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:21 PM

 didn't know you worked for EA now. Congrats.

I do not :P

 

The company I worked for did contracting for EA though. NOW I WORK ON [redacted].



#18 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1380

Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:34 PM

Again, money.

Look at sales numebers, FIFA Wii doesn't look like it has many customers. Compare the 0.7M Wii customers to the combined 10.4M on PS3 and X360 (which can share assets).

Would you invest much of your money in something that will only see 0.7M sales, or would you spend it on the 10.4M sales

 

 

 

Doesn't mean u can falsely sell the same product again under a new name. If it wasn't profitable why fool the consumers, dont make it. Period



#19 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 6653

Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:07 PM

Please. Nintendo Wii sales have been absolute trash for years and years if you weren't a Nintendo studio doing Nintendo IP. The non-Nintendo games for Wii were little more than charity cases. If anything, I'm surprised it took this long for EA to turn their back.



#20 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7120

Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:55 PM

Again, money.

Look at sales numebers, FIFA Wii doesn't look like it has many customers. Compare the 0.7M Wii customers to the combined 10.4M on PS3 and X360 (which can share assets).

Would you invest much of your money in something that will only see 0.7M sales, or would you spend it on the 10.4M sales

 

Doesn't mean u can falsely sell the same product again under a new name. If it wasn't profitable why fool the consumers, dont make it. Period

 

They probably *started* making it on the presumption that initial sales would be higher (e.g. Wii-like), or at least that the adoption trend was steady or growing. What they saw when they were ready to go to manufacturing were lower numbers than they wanted, and declining sales trend. They decided that it was better to just eat their development costs alone, rather than eat their development costs plus the additional costs needed to bring it to market, less sup-par sales revenue. Its just business. The same thing happened with Half Life for the Dreamcast (I've got a more-ore-less complete bootleg that I've played on my DC), and countless others.

 

And at any rate, for all their problems, its certainly not EA's fault that Nintendo's platform isn't presenting them with viable market opportunity for a particular game or set of games. If the opportunity made business sense, EA would be there in a heartbeat, just like any for-profit entity.

 

But it doesn't make any sense for them to throw good money after bad.






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