EA doesn't consider the Wii U a 'hot product' for the holidays.
EA has confirmed in a Q&A that Madden NFL 13 for the Nintendo Wii U comes 'with some new features', but will lack some -important- others.
It looks like the upcoming Madden NFL 13 version for the Wii U, will leave out certain 'key' features from the XBOX 360/PS3 counterparts, like the new real time physics, Madden Ultimate Team and Online Team Play (you'll be able to play local multiplayer with up to five people, only).
This was confirmed by game producer Yuri Bialoskursky, speaking with ESPN's video game writer Jon Robinson:
Considering everything suggests that the Wii U will be as powerful as the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360, gaming website Kotaku believes this doesn't speak very well of EA's relationship with Nintendo...Robinson: But how can you say that online is such an emphasis and then not include features like Madden Ultimate Team?
Bialoskursky: Madden Ultimate Team is something that we're not going to have in year one. It's another one that we plan to add in as we go.
Robinson: You're killing me.
Bialoskursky: Again, we have other features that are really great. Connected Careers is going to take a lot of your time. Being able to interact and play against other people online while you try and create a legend out of yourself or picking one of those old legends like a Vince Lombardi or a Barry Sanders and taking them through a career is fun. There is a lot to look forward to on the Wii U.
AND actually, EA has just made clear "that they don't consider the Wii U a hot product for the holidays":The snag holding back Ultimate Team on Wii U, by my guessing anyway, wouldn't seem to have anything to do with the capabilities of the console or the new Nintendo Network infrastructure. Ultimate Team's gameplay is basically a one-off online multiplayer match, just with really different rosters. What sets the mode apart is its marketplace, where packs of player cards are bought, traded in, auctioned and sold. Maybe there are some networking limitations involved, but the simplest explanation, to me, is that Nintendo and EA Sports couldn't come to an agreement on who makes how much money off these transactions—which has been a huge revenue engine for the label.
Regardless, EA Sports has had more than a year to iron out its multiplayer offerings for Madden NFL 13 on the Wii U. Further, I was told that the decision to move forward with real-time physics for Madden NFL 13 was made back in January. I can understand why that wouldn't extend to the PS Vita version of the game; there's no good answer for why the Wii U couldn't be included, if it really is as powerful a machine as the PS3 and 360. But none of this can be blamed on last-minute pressure when Madden stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Nintendo's new console more than a year ago.
So, what do you think?EA made it clear that they don't consider the Wii U a hot product for the holidays; Peter Moore, in response to an analyst question, said "you're probably right that Wii U got a lackluster response" at E3. More to the point, EA hasn't announced any other titles than Mass Effect 3 for the Wii U. No other big spending on the Wii U or next-gen consoles was noted, nor is their forecasting specifically calling out the Wii U as a major positive coming up. Translation: EA doesn't expect great sales from the Wii U.
Still, EA will no doubt be "opportunistic" as interim CFO Ken Barker noted. That means if the Wii U takes off, EA will jump on it, even though it means getting to the party late. This is pretty much how EA (and other major publishers) approached the Wii last time; little support at launch, but once it proved a hit resources were shifted to take advantage of it. The minimum 1-year delay this causes will not help the Wii U in its quest to get established. The other implication of this is that EA will not be putting great effort into specific Wii U development; any titles that are started are likely to be ports, without much resource spent on adapting to the gamepad controller.
NEWS SOURCE #1: Madden NFL 13 Wii-U (via) ESPN
NEWS SOURCE #2: Gimped Madden on Wii-U doesn't speak well of EA's relationship with Nintendo (via) Kotaku
Our thanks to 'Gauss' for this news item!