One of the biggest complaints leveled at Nintendo’s platforms is a lack of third-party support.
The Wii U, in particular, has suffered from a severe lack of games not developed by Nintendo itself. However, even the much more popular 3DS handheld’s library is mostly compiled from first-party efforts.
According to comments from former Burnout and Need for Speed developer, Alex Ward, the publishers themselves are not to blame: at least not entirely.
Ward, along with Fiona Sperry, another co-founder of the developer Criterion Games, left Electronic Arts in January to start a new company. That studio is Three Fields Entertainment.
Ward went to Twitter to discuss Three Fields’ future, specifically where the studio plans to release its games.
In response to questions about releasing on the Wii U, Ward said, “Probably not to be honest,” on Twitter. “But never say never.”
A heated online conversation followed, with Ward explaining his past experiences with Electronic Arts and Nintendo while developing “Need for Speed: Most Wanted” for the Wii U.
Ward was quickly accused of not properly supporting the Wii U version, which came out months later than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions in the first place.
“Totally wrong. I did. Second, I complained when the company didn’t even bother to press the discs with our game on,” adding that he and Criterion “worked our arses off. Neither (Nintendo) or EA gave a shit about it. A group of us did try … ”
He went on to explain that the team personally flew out to Nintendo to demo the game and ask for marketing support, but that “There was none.”
EA’s disinterest in Nintendo’s Wii U seems obvious; the console has struggled to find an install base anywhere near its contemporaries, much less its predecessor. Developers and publishers have been pulling support almost since its launch.
Why Nintendo might not have given the game support is another question entirely. Most of the company’s defenders point out that the best games on each of its consoles have been those made in-house, but that hardly works as a key financial argument.
It’s strange to consider where the Wii U might be going in the future, especially if Ward’s claims are the norm for the company’s outreach.