Developer: Need For Speed Rivals Not Going To Wii U After Low Sales Last Time

Developer: Need For Speed Rivals Not Going To Wii U After Low Sales Last Time

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Creative Director Craig Sullivan knows a developer has to focus its efforts.

Need For Speed: Most Wanted went to the Wii U with several system-specific features, including Co-Driver mode, but Need For Speed: Rivals isn't going anywhere near Nintendo's next generation console. "It's not the kind of stuff that I like talking about in detail, that much," says Criterion Games' Craig Sullivan. "We did a load of extra work on the Wii U version, and we had a lot of guys working on that stuff, you know?" But sales didn't justify the effort, and so Rivals won't be a Wii U title.

"You have to work out where you focus your efforts," says Sullivan. "The 200 people working on this game are only capable of making so much, and doing so many different versions of the game, so we had to go with where we think the biggest audience will be for the game." Need For Speed is published by Electronic Arts, which back in June said it would only develop more titles for the Wii U if the platform's sales improved. Other companies have signalled their lack of enthusiasm, and it all comes down to sales: the Wii U has yet to really capture an audience, and without it, developers aren't interested in Nintendo's console.

Things are changing. Nintendo wants the Wii U to be more indie friendly, dropped its Deluxe price, and enjoyed a decent - if not spectacular - E3. But it's not soon enough for Need For Speed; Nintendo had better hope things improve at Christmas, else Michael Pachter's snark about Nintendo losing its mojo will start to look prophetic.

Source: The Sixth Axis

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And absolutely no one was surprised.

Well, at least for the next generation of consoles, the PC so far hasn't been given the shaft. Yet.

"Our teams are working on it around the world. Our key franchises will be there. We've made that commitment to Nintendo," John Riccitiello.

"We're changing games from a thing that you buy to a place that you go. This is a better platform that we've ever been offered by Nintendo,"
also John Riccitiello.

We're a long way from the head of EA standing on Nintendo's stage swearing fealty to the king, so much for BUttlefield Four and CrUsis. I can't help think that in the future, when Nintendo is inevitably back on top somehow, that EA will pay a heavy price for so public a U turn when they want promotion space on Nintendo hardware.

We already knew that EA wasn't going to develop for the Wii U anymore. Despite their bullshit, backtracking press releases to the contrary.

Lack of "EA-support" is why I'm considering getting a Wii U for the household this winter holiday season.

fix-the-spade:
"Our teams are working on it around the world. Our key franchises will be there. We've made that commitment to Nintendo," John Riccitiello.

"We're changing games from a thing that you buy to a place that you go. This is a better platform that we've ever been offered by Nintendo,"
also John Riccitiello.

We're a long way from the head of EA standing on Nintendo's stage swearing fealty to the king, so much for BUttlefield Four and CrUsis. I can't help think that in the future, when Nintendo is inevitably back on top somehow, that EA will pay a heavy price for so public a U turn when they want promotion space on Nintendo hardware.

Inevitably implies there was a time in the last difteen years when a nintendo console was good for third party decelopers. and its not like all the other publishers are sticking by the xonsole thats sold under one hundred thhousand of major titles

fix-the-spade:
I can't help think that in the future, when Nintendo is inevitably back on top somehow, that EA will pay a heavy price for so public a U turn when they want promotion space on Nintendo hardware.

As long as EA are still a huge company, I highly, highly, highly doubt that. EA are still a force to be reckoned with, and won't be going anywhere unless their key franchises stop selling well on all systems, which isn't likely to happen. Even when the Wii was king, which was Nintendo's highest riding console since the Snes, EA titles continued to sell better on other systems.

Nintendo have always needed EA more than what EA have needed Nintendo.

Terramax:
Nintendo have always needed EA more than what EA have needed Nintendo.

I would argue that Nintendo need nobody, which is why their hardware is so problematic for other publishers. They certainly don't depend on income generated by third party game sales the way the other two do.

BrotherRool:
Inevitably implies there was a time in the last difteen years when a nintendo console was good for third party decelopers.

The Wii's been pretty good to EA, they've averaged 1-2 million sales on pretty much everything they release, which sounds bad until you consider that all they've released has been super cheap party games, shovel ware and re-skins of older sports titles. The profitability of that was why they were standing up on the stage making noise at the Wii U launch, but like a lot of things it seems Riccitiello didn't think about the situation (or possible consequences) hard enough.

fix-the-spade:

BrotherRool:
Inevitably implies there was a time in the last difteen years when a nintendo console was good for third party decelopers.

The Wii's been pretty good to EA, they've averaged 1-2 million sales on pretty much everything they release, which sounds bad until you consider that all they've released has been super cheap party games, shovel ware and re-skins of older sports titles. The profitability of that was why they were standing up on the stage making noise at the Wii U launch, but like a lot of things it seems Riccitiello didn't think about the situation (or possible consequences) hard enough.

It's true that Nintendo has been a good output for EA shovelware for one generation (although the gamecube wasn't even good for that) but that also means that even if Nintendo were in a position to punish anyone, it's not like it would be that effective. I'm sure party game crud doesn't require multimillion advertising budgets or big platform owner support.

In the end Riccitiello was doing Nintendo a favour by saying what he said, regardless of whether he'd actually thought that stuff through (or was even honest about it). Because it was something that made the Wii U look like it might have third-party support and Nintendo just need a brief run of confidence from something like that and then if people buy the console because of it, then hey presto an audience is there to buy these games.

But Wii U software sales have been beyond shocking, if Nintendo holds any sort of grudge against people for not developing AAA titles for a platform where Need for Speed: Most Wanted sold a whopping 50,000 units then they are delusional (I'm not missing an 0. A AAA game literally sold less games over it's lifetime than the Stanley Parable sold at launch. And this isn't even particularly bad for Wii U software sales).

Even if Riccitiello with all his heart wanted to develop for the Wii U, he couldn't do it. He would be thrown out for incompetence. There AAA games that consider 3 million units a failure and the 4th best selling Wii U game of all time didn't even break 500,000 units. I'm pretty certain that CoD: Ghosts have sold more preorders for an unreleased console, than the Wii U's 10th best selling game of all time has sold total (200,000 units).

I don't think Nintendo are screwed. The first party games will save them. But they're screwed on third-party titles now and if they point the finger at anyone but themselves then that's an awful lot of misplaced blame

EA, you're being stupid and missing the point and making a bad comparison. Need for Speed: Most Wanted I flopped because you released it five months later than the other versions (making it the only one to miss the holiday season), and because the Wii U at the time had a hilariously low install base compared to systems that had been out for 6-7 years. Not only is the Wii U doing much better now (go figure; it got three great first-party releases and a $50 price drop), but you have the chance to release the game simultaneously instead of late.

While Most Wanted U's failure wasn't entirely your own fault, you did bungle its release pretty badly by releasing late and failing to market it. Sure, the Wii U wasn't really ready for anything yet, but Nintendo's fixed their end of things for the most part. Rivals would not be subject to the same obstacles, and if it were to fail on Wii U, it would entirely be your own fault.

P.S. Thanks

Vivi22:
And absolutely no one was surprised.

Eeeeyup...Didn't EA say they wouldn't release anything on the Wii U anyway? I don't really have room to talk though since I still haven't picked up that game despite it being...what, less than $20 on Amazon?

I can't say EA is missing out on a golden opportunity but as someone above (or rather, on page one) said, Most Wanted released when the U had a hilariously small install base. As for EA's other U games, the ones that people did buy are apparently still asking for more support by EA on Miiverse...well, when it comes to Mass Effect anyway...last time I checked...about two or three months ago...

Covarr:
because the Wii U at the time had a hilariously low install base compared to systems that had been out for 6-7 years. Not only is the Wii U doing much better now (go figure; it got three great first-party releases and a $50 price drop)

Surely you must be joking. The Wii U, as of some of the most recently available numbers, has shipped a bit over 3.5 million units. Not even sold; just shipped. And we're at almost a year since it was released. It's selling worse globally than every current piece of hardware on the market, including the PS Vita, and to cap it off, those sales in the past year are half of what the PS3 and 360 managed in their first years. By any objective measure, it has been an utter failure thus far.

And I disagree that Need for Speed failing on the Wii U had to do with a low install base and lack of marketing. They would have figured the low install base into their estimates so that's a non-starter. Absolutely no one, not even at EA, could be so stupid as to expect a game to do as well on a system with a few million units sold as on systems with 20x as many sold.

The real problem is that the majority of the people who would actually be interested in a new Need for Speed already have PS3's and 360's, and likely have no real interest in the Wii U. So the only sales they did get are in the extremely thin slice of the market where someone does like Need for Speed and decided to buy a Wii U and got it there. The delayed release might have had a slight impact, but even then I doubt it. Your typical arcade racer enthusiast isn't the sort of person Nintendo's been trying to appeal to for at least the last two generations. Probably more.

Vivi22:
Surely you must be joking. The Wii U, as of some of the most recently available numbers, has shipped a bit over 3.5 million units. Not even sold; just shipped. And we're at almost a year since it was released. It's selling worse globally than every current piece of hardware on the market, including the PS Vita, and to cap it off, those sales in the past year are half of what the PS3 and 360 managed in their first years. By any objective measure, it has been an utter failure thus far.

Yes, it has. Still, sales have had a not-insignificant boost since the price drop. It may not be selling amazingly, but it's finally at least in the running, something that wasn't the case when the Wii U launched.

But again, I really wanna reiterate that Most Wanted U would've done better if it launched simultaneously on Wii U as with other consoles. Virtually everyone who was interested in the game had already bought it on something else by the time the Wii U version was released (myself included; I got it on PC). It's all but impossible to succeed in an annual franchise five months after every other version has been released, and when the hype for the game and for the Wii U has died down.

I wanna add that my talk of marketing is only referring to the Wii U version. I never once saw an ad for Most Wanted U when it was released, but I did see plenty of advertising for the PS3/360/PC version back in 2012. EA treated the Wii U version as an also-ran, and it sold accordingly.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S. I wanna make very clear that I'm not disagreeing that this wasn't also largely Nintendo's fault. Nintendo played a huge part in it, and quite honestly, I'm not sure Most Wanted U could've succeeded even if EA had released simultaneously and better advertised the Wii U version. Either way, I'm sure that a Wii U version of Rivals could do much, much better.

fix-the-spade:

Terramax:
Nintendo have always needed EA more than what EA have needed Nintendo.

I would argue that Nintendo need nobody, which is why their hardware is so problematic for other publishers. They certainly don't depend on income generated by third party game sales the way the other two do.

A vast number of their games are actually developed by 3rd parties. For instance, the Mario party series by Hudson Soft. Star Fox Assault by Namco. Sin & Punishment was at least in joint co-development with Treasure Co. For quite some time, Nintendo have loaned out and relied on other companies to release games in their name.

Indeed, you can argue that people buy Nintendo consoles for Nintendo games, but the tides have changed, and more and more people are happier to buy other consoles which provide them with experiences they will enjoy more than Mario or Zelda, whether it be Skyrim, Fifa, CoD, etc. Nintendo's franchises don't have the pulling power they used to.

Furthermore, whilst in the past Nintendo have been able to deliver the goods, recently with the Wii U, Nintendo have admitted that with the transition to HD, they're finding it incredibly difficult to get games out on steady flow, hence the reason there's near f-all in games coming from them. Hell, their last 'big' release is a HD re-release of a decade old game.

too bad Most Wanted's sales were mostly due to EA's incompetence. But they, like most 3rd parties, like dodging responsibility so they instead deflect criticism and project it onto others. Seriously, this kind of crap is getting old. Maybe if EA put some EFFORT into their Nintendo projects people would actually buy them.

 

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