EA and Nintendo have had a checkered past. EA was one of the first third parties to support the Sega Genesis, which when combined with Sega’s internal efforts, made it the 16-bit console to buy if you were into sports games. It wasn’t until a few years into the Super NES lifecycle that EA was finally convinced to make games for it as well. The support lasted through the N64, GameCube, and Wii eras, but abruptly came to a halt with the Wii U. Despite announcing that EA and Nintendo would have an unprecedented partnership, only a few games ever materialized on the Wii U, and the ones that did weren’t of the highest quality.
So then, what about Nintendo’s upcoming platform, the NX? Precisely that question was asked at an EA earnings call:
“And thinking about Nintendo’s NX platform, the dev chips have apparently shipped. It looks like it’s working towards a calendar year 2016 launch,” The Benchmark Company analyst Mike Hickey began. “Just wondering how you plan to manage your resources to that emerging platform. Do you anticipate being more aggressive on the front end? Or perhaps a little bit more cautious, given the Wii U underperformed expectations?”
EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson offered up this reply:
“I’m going to address that slightly differently. As we look to the future, we see a world where more people are playing on more platforms in more geographies than ever before. We see the platform cycle now, not just as a traditional six-year console cycle, but as a six-month refresh rate on mobile devices, smart TVs, Internet-enabled refrigerators, or whatever it might be.
“And what we’re doing, in terms of resource allocation, is really investing at a core digital platform level, at an engine level, and at a game architecture level, to ensure that we are able to deliver amazing experiences; 6 inches to 60 inches, and beyond; two minutes to two hour session times, and beyond; across any and all relevant devices where gamers are playing.”
“And as it relates to Nintendo, we’ve had a tremendous relationship with them over the years. And we will evaluate any and all opportunities with them, in the same way we do all platform opportunities.”
So, the short answer is we don’t know yet what EA’s plans are for the NX. It sounds like he’s keeping the option open, but perhaps is taking a wait and see approach. Then again, for all we know Nintendo and EA could be talking behind closed right now on some business deal. We expect to hear much more on the NX and third parties after the New Year.
Source: Nintendo Insider