EA and Ubisoft Explain Why They Backed Away from Wii U

Nintendo released the Wii U last year with much optimism and the promise of a new era of entertainment. But little did the software giant know of the impending doom which lied waiting just on the horizon.

If I were to say that the console is finding it hard to meet its expected sale projections then that would be an understatement. The console is struggling and dying.

It wasn’t long before publishers EA and Ubisoft, two major names in the industry, decided to sideline and skip out on the platform for most of their major titles.

Both were, in fact, staunch supporters of the Wii U; releasing plenty of titles on launch day. EA specifically has been on record supporting Nintendo and the Wii U.

However, as things stand that wasn’t paying out well.

Speaking to Joystiq in an interview, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau explained their decision to step back: “Look, the only thing they can do to fix it is to sell more boxes… The Wii U, we shipped four games.

We shipped Madden, FIFA, Need for Speed and Mass Effect. In fact, the last Need for Speed shipped 60 days ago had a pretty good Metacritic. It was a good game. It wasn’t a schlocky port, we actually put extra effort into getting everything to work. And it’s just not selling because there’s no boxes.”

Gibeau added: “Nintendo is a good partner and never count ’em out and all that. Never count them out, but right now we’re focused on PS4 and Xbox One and from our perspective we’ll look at the Wii U, we’ll continue to observe it. If it becomes a viable platform from an audience standpoint, we’ll jump back in.”

On the other hand; speaking with Kotaku, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot explained their decision to hold back until Nintendo sells more consoles. “We need more sold,” Guillemot said of Wii U. “They are coming with five of their biggest brands ever. And the Yen went down. So maybe they will take steps that will increase the number of consoles sold.”

Ubisoft’s intentions were pretty much clear when they decided to release Rayman Legends, a Wii U exclusive in the beginning, for other platforms. EA’s Frank Gibeau himself has also stated that they were disappointed in the sales of their games on the Wii U; which apparently failed to meet projected numbers.

Publishers aren’t the only one troubled by the console’s performance. Retailers and vendors alike have been annoyed with Nintendo’s lack of software support as well.

With a new new lineup of games this year, Nintendo believes 2013 will change things around for the Wii U.