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EA’s “Unprecedented Partnership” with Nintendo and Other Fairy Tales

Ricard Julianti’s third opinion piece looks at the fable that is EA, and how the company is full of lies, deceit, and BS.

EA recently came out and said, “We will not be releasing a Wii U version of Madden NFL in 2013. However, we have a strong partnership with Nintendo and will continue to evaluate opportunities for developing additional Madden NFL products for Nintendo fans in the future.”

Madden is one of the biggest sports IP’s in the industry today, along with NCAA Football and FIFA, yet EA isn’t developing a version for the Wii U. We have no official word on NCAA and FIFA yet, but all signs are pointing to those not arriving on Nintendo’s console either. If you have several multi-million dollar franchises, isn’t releasing them on everything available the smart thing to do? Especially if you have a strong partnership with one of the oldest gaming companies still in existence? Something here strikes me as…..odd.

To understand this so-called “strong partnership”, we need to go back to the beginning. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2011 John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts at the time, was invited on stage by the President and CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, during Nintendo’s main press conference. Riccitiello began by talking about the “breakthrough in our relationship with Nintendo based on a stunning breakthrough in game technology” and how the Wii U “speaks directly to the players of EA Sports and EA games.”

He went on to talk about the advantages Nintendo’s new console would bring to the likes of Madden, such as taking all of the play-calling off of the TV for a “more personal, more immersive HD experience.” Next up was Battlefield where he mainly discussed the power of the Frostbite engine, brought to you on a Nintendo system. Riccitiello continues by saying, “Now imagine those games with an open, online functionality, that allows you to download new content, find matches, compete on leaderboards and participate in a global community. And finally, imagine these EA games on a console with content, gameplay and community that can be extended to mobile, social networks, as well as the web.”

It was music to our ears. EA is one of the biggest third-party publishers out there with franchises such as Need for Speed, Mass Effect, Battlefield, SSX, Burnout, the entire EA Sports line and as of yesterday, Star Wars. All of these titles and more were going to be brought to the Wii U by way of an “unprecedented partnership between Nintendo and Electronic Arts.”

Considering E3 is where major game and system announcements usually take place, it wasn’t surprising that we didn’t hear much about the unprecedented partnership until the next year’s show. At E3 2012, Nintendo showed a sizzle reel of third-party titles coming to the system. One of those titles included Mass Effect 3, a franchise owned and published by Electronic Arts; the crowd applauded as they were clearly excited for the game and it showed that EA was keeping true to that partnership they announced a year prior. In post E3 interviews another EA executive, Frank Gibeau stated that, “It is the first next-generation platform coming out, so we’re really supporting it.”. At the launch of the Wii U in November, Madden 13, FIFA 13 and Mass Effect 3 were all there, with a few caveats.

The version of Madden given to Wii U owners didn’t include the new and improved physics engine that the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 had, which was chalked up to the development team only having around 6 months to build the game. It wasn’t a huge loss considering the added Gamepad functionality, such as drawing a hot route before the snap, and everything else was almost identical. FIFA 13 on the other hand, was more like FIFA 12.5. It included the major improvements made to FIFA with ‘12, but lacked the refinement of those improvements found in other versions of FIFA 13. Again this is probably due to a shorter development time for the game, and included Gamepad functionality helped balance out the negatives.

Then there is Mass Effect 3 Special Edition. EA subsidiary Bioware didn’t develop the Wii U version of the game and instead it was shipped out to Straight Right, an Australian development studio that few had heard of before. This wasn’t inherently an issue as the game was almost indistinguishable from the PS3/360 versions. The main differences came in a 20 minute interactive comic that explained the story and allowed players to make choices that would affect events in the game to a degree, and the added Gamepad elements.

With EA’s talk of an “unprecedented partnership” that would bring games that featured “online functionality, that allows you to download new content” and the title of “Special Edition”, it was presumed that the several pieces of downloadable content (DLC) released for Mass Effect 3 would either be on the disc, or provided on Nintendo’s eShop. At the time of writing, not a single piece of DLC has been released for Mass Effect 3 and it is one of the very few games not available digitally on the eShop. EA also did something rather strange before the Wii U was even released.

On September 26, EA announced that they would be releasing the Mass Effect Trilogy set on PS3, 360, and on PC but not Wii U. The Trilogy released on November 7th, a week and a half before the Wii U launched and at the same price as Mass Effect 3, $60. Depending on the platform, it also included different pieces of DLC while the rest were available for purchase online. Unless they only owned the Wii and never got to play the first two games, why would anyone buy a $60 game on a new $300 console, when they could get all three games in the series for the same price on a console they already owned? They wouldn’t, and they didn’t considering only around 50,000 copies of the game have been sold to date. Granted, VGChartz is notorious for being inaccurate, but I was not able to find NPD numbers for the Wii U version. The fact remains that EA cannibalized sales of the Wii U version by even releasing the Trilogy. Between June and September, something had changed.

There has been a rumor floating around the internet since August that EA wanted Nintendo to integrate their online system with Origin, EA’s answer to Valve’s Steam service. For those of you who didn’t read the link, this would allow EA to control all of the online functionality of the Wii U. All games put on the Wii U with online features would be run through Origin, with EA at the wheel. The story goes that Nintendo rejected this deal because it would offer an unfair advantage to one third-party over others. Allowing EA to control the online system of a major console would need to be part of a major agreement between the two, some might even call it “unprecedented.” At the time it seemed unlikely as EA had not shown any derision towards Nintendo or the Wii U, but as time went on, things got worse and it has become more and more plausible.

Remember how EA Label President Frank Gibeau stated that the Wii U “…is the first next-generation platform coming out” and they were “really supporting it?” In January Riccitiello, the same guy who got on stage at E3 and announced the “unprecedented partnership”, now had a different tune to sing. He stated, “Ours is an industry where a lot of devices come in and represent themselves as the next generation, or the next generation after that. In many ways we would argue that what we’re describing as ‘Gen 4′ is yet to come. It’s that we’re excited about, and that’s what we’re investing in.” By saying that “Gen 4” is yet to come, he is referring to the Playstation 4 and whatever Microsoft’s next console will be named as they have not been released yet.

He effectively calls the Wii U “last-gen” while also saying they aren’t focused on it in one fell swoop. Pay no mind to the fact that the Wii U is the start of the 8th generation of consoles, going back even before the original NES; EA only considers the time since the original Playstation and in the same breath ignores time as the Wii U is literally the next generation of Nintendo consoles. It isn’t as if one of the biggest publishers in the industry didn’t have development kits from Sony or Microsoft before June of last year either. Details inside may change with different revisions to the kit but even now, neither the PS4 or the next Xbox will be able to do anything inherently impossible on the Wii U without cutbacks in certain areas for years, if ever.

Things were pushed a little further when Crytek revealed that their critically acclaimed FPS Crysis 3 was “very close” to launching on Wii U, but a “lack of business support between Nintendo and EA” prevented it from releasing. Twenty-five days later, EA revealed Battlefield 4. It is only officially announced for the PS3 and 360, but it will likely be on the PS4 and the next Xbox. The Wii U however, will not be receiving the game at all despite all of the talk by Riccitiello in 2011. DICE, subsidiary of EA and developer of Battlefield 4, stated that it would be risky to release on Nintendo’s system. If the Wii U is risky with 3.45 million units sold, what does that make the next Xbox and PS4 which have exactly zero units sold?

Battlefield 4 runs on the Frostbite 3 engine which is an updated version of the Frostbite 2 engine that powered Battlefield 3. Both of these engines run on the PS3 and 360, yet the Technical Director for the engine had this to say on Twitter, “FB3 has never been running on Wii U. We did some tests with not too promising results with FB2 & chose not to go down that path” Here’s where things get pretty technical, I apologize and will try to explain it as best I can.

The Xbox 360 uses a 3.2Ghz Tri-core, multi-threaded CPU that uses in-order execution and has long pipelines while the Wii U has a 1.24 Ghz Tri-core, single-threaded CPU that uses out-of-order execution with short pipelines. On the surface this looks bad, but really it is the exact opposite. Yes, the clock speed is slower but it uses newer chip, so it is more efficient at handling tasks. A longer pipeline means that if there is a fault early on, all of the data is wasted and it must finish its way through before the task can be started over. A shorter pipeline means that if there is a fault, it doesn’t take as long to start over regardless of where it happens.

Think of the in-order and out-of-order execution like lines at the grocery store. With in-order there is one line and even if you have less stuff, you have to wait for the person in front of you. With out-of-order, an employee sees you standing there with a basket of items rather than a cart, opens up the express lane so you are able to leave your line and check out. This is a heavily simplified explanation, but you get the general idea. Out-of-order is more efficient and eliminates the need for multithreading, which is why it only has a single thread. This is also why some launch ports on the Wii U run a little bit worse as out-of-order execution can only do so much when the game is specifically coded to utilize multithreading.

That was just the CPU, now on to the GPU. The 360 GPU is capable of Directx 9, and has 10mb of DRAM available to it elsewhere on the motherboard. The Wii U GPU is heavily customized to the point that “tech-heads” and people who analyze die shots for a living can’t tell what chip it is derived from, much less what 30% of it actually does. That being said, it is heavily rumored to contain Directx 11 equivalent functions, and has 32mb of eDRAM available. eDRAM allows for faster access than DRAM and at a higher bandwidth since it is embedded right onto the GPU. The system also utilizes GPGPU processing which allows the GPU to handle functions that would normally be executed by the CPU, reducing the strain all-around. There are far more technical aspects I could get into, but my point has been made.

So what does this have to do with Frostbite 3, EA, Battlefield and so on? If the 360 can run the Frostbite 3 engine, there is absolutely no technical reason the Wii U couldn’t run it. I suspect that DICE “tested” the Frostbite 2 engine on the Wii U using non-finalized dev kits, and treated it the same as the 360. This would explain the “not too promising results” they experienced due to the fact that the systems have two completely different architectures and cannot be programmed in the same manner. What is most baffling to me is that they didn’t get one engine to work, so they didn’t even try to get the next one running. If at first you don’t succeed; try, try again right?

The amount of hypocrisy Electronic Arts has shown is absolutely stunning. Aside from their beef with Nintendo, they claimed the need for Sim City to have an internet connection to play was because a “significant amount of calculations” were done over the server and not because it was some sort of DRM. The modding community was not only able to get the game to play offline, handling those same calculations locally since they were never off-loaded to servers in the first place; but were able to do so in just over one week.. EA still maintains their stance regarding the issue.

EA having a “strong partnership with Nintendo” is an utter fallacy. A strong partnership indicates cooperation, compromises, and a mutual respect for one another. Electronic Arts has actively cannibalized sales, failed to support their games after launch, prevented the release of a finished game, did a perfect 180 regarding their stance on the Wii U in several ways, all for seemingly no reason; and blatantly lied to customers to save face all in the span of six months. All things considered, does this sound like a company that deserves your money and support?

Yeah, I don’t think so either.

-By Jonathan Suedmeyer a.k.a. “Ricard Julianti”

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Author: RicardJulianti (11 Posts)


94 Responses to EA’s “Unprecedented Partnership” with Nintendo and Other Fairy Tales

  1. I do accept as true with all the ideas you have offered on your post.
    They’re really convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are
    too quick for newbies. May you please extend them a bit
    from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  2. Rpx says:

    http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/21/x86-architectu

    Is this going to cause for more problems for third-party support for the WiiU?

  3. AJ34 says:

    Cant wait to have to pay $5 DLC for a lightsaber color….

  4. Daniel says:

    The following quote from the article is not only contradictory but so wrong it makes my head hurt:

    > Out-of-order is more efficient and eliminates the need for multithreading, which is why it only has a single thread. This is also why some launch ports on the Wii U run a little bit worse as out-of-order execution can only do so much when the game is specifically coded to utilize multithreading.

    Please try to avoid discussing technical issues in your next op-ed.

    • Furious Francis says:

      Actually it makes sense.

      Games build for multi-threading will have issues being ported over for a system that's designed for single-threading AND doesn't take advantage of the out of order CPU.

    • RicardJulianti says:

      Why not explain it then?

      Games built on a completely different architecture will run "poorly" on the Wii U and even then it is able to power through the poorly optimized code in order to get them running only slightly worse/on par/better than other versions.

      It is a similar problem that the PS3 saw since most multiplatform games were made with the 360 architecture in mind. Devs wouldn't originally take the time to properly optimize the code for the different architecture, so the games didn't run as well as their 360 counterparts.

      There's no need to tell me what to do..

  5. Eyesac says:

    Well, I don't post comments often I enjoy reading others views. I just wanted to take the time to thank you guys. Right now the internet is on fire with so much hate towards Nintendo it really is quite disturbing. Great article, awesome website. Thank you guys.

  6. Darren says:

    In EA's defence, when they announced they were excited to develop for the Wii U they probably expected Nintendo would be able to ship more than 390,000 consoles worldwide in the first three months of 2013. Why make games for a console with no install base. Add to that EA are not the only ones to pull Wii U versions of their games. Call of Duty: Ghosts has no Wii U version either despite it being released on XBOX 360 & PS3.

    It is easier to list the third party developers that ARE supporting the Wii U. Ubisoft and um…….
    Activision? No, 2K? No, Bethesda? No, Rockstar? No, Square Enix? No

    It is a sad state for Nintendo to be in, but it is not EA's fault that they are not selling consoles, it is Nintendo's. If they can't do something about it the Wii U, and Nintendo's home console business is done.

    • Furious Francis says:

      You have a couple things wrong Darren.

      1. EA and Nintendo had a falling out before the Wii U launched in 2012 over Origin being on the system. EA sabotaged their own games. Releasing a gimped version of Madden 13 on the system. A gimped version of Mass Effect 3 with no DLC support and the same price as the Mass Effect Trilogy on the PS3/Xbox 360, And a gimped version of FIFA that didn't have all the features the PS3 and Xbox 360 version had.

      This falling out was well before the "390,000" sold in the past three months thing. And at their investor meeting last year, they said they were not supporting the Wii U. So even when it did well past the holiday period, they already decided they weren't going to support the system.

      Call of Duty Ghosts is coming on the Wii U. Activision considers it the 'next gen' version of the game. Activision also supported the Wii U with Skylanders and Spider Man.

      Square Enix is supporting the Wii U with Deus Ex Human Revolution Director's Cut. Warner Bros, Ubisoft, Capcom, Namco Bandai, Tecmo Koei, are all supporting the Wii U as well.

      Of course Nintendo is going to do something about it. But saying their home console business is done is stupid. Nintendo has around 10 billion in the bank right now, and could lose money for the 50 years before they run out.

      Darren, I see what you're trying to say, but the problem is that it's a bit misguided, and your timing is off.

      • RicardJulianti says:

        Ha…..I think I was typing my comment when you submitted yours….and I said basically the exact same thing…..but in a lot more words as I often do. You'd think I wouldn't have the energy to type anymore.

        Whoops.

    • RicardJulianti says:

      EA announced the Mass Effect Trilogy 2 months before the Wii U was even released, launched the game a week before the Wii U launched, offered absolutely 0 DLC support and the game isn't available digitally. This all happened before the game drought and slow sales. Even with the slow sales, it's not like they couldn't have turned a profit by not cannibalizing sales. Ubisoft stated that their Wii U ports cost less than $1m to make, which is extremely cheap and very easy to recuperate. Capcom shipped an HD port of a 3DS game that's a port of a Wii game. They made around $20m off of it…..AND it released during the slow sales period.

      There absolutely is a version of CoD: Ghosts for Wii U. Activision came out and said after the reveal, "We don’t have any news for the Wii U at this time, as we aren’t dating next generation platforms yet. Stay tuned." They aren't announcing any next-gen console versions, but they exist. After the Xbox reveal on the 21st, they will be able to talk about it seeing as the name of the Xbox is under embargoes and NDA's.

      Developers that are making/have made Wii U games: Crytek, Capcom, Ubisoft, TT, WB, Square Enix, Criterion, Atlus, Namco-Bandai, Sega, Platinum, Activision, Precursor, Slightly Mad, and Indies all over the place. EA's hand might even be forced with Star Wars and some sports titles depending on the exclusivity contracts. Disney also has a strong relationship with Nintendo….so we'll see.

      Nintendo also said that SMT x FE is only one of many collaborations they have in the works, then there are completely unannounced titles as well.

      2K? Nothing official either way. Bethesda? Nothing official either way. Rockstar? Nothing official, but GTAV is being heavily rumored. Square Enix? Yes, by way of Deus Ex….maybe more. The Gamecube even got an exclusive Final Fantasy….as did the Wii.

      You are right that it isn't EA's fault that Wii U sales stalled….at least not entirely their fault. If EA had let Crysis 3 release on the Wii U, things might have been entirely different since there would have been at least one game to spur sales. They probably could have ported Dead Space as well, but considering Extraction bombed (because it wasn't that great imo) they didn't see it as viable.

      But you can't blame Nintendo when an EA launch title that competes with a box set of 3 games, including the one on Wii U, at the same price. Launch console owners are the ones that are usually "hardcore" gamers….and those "hardcore" gamers tend to own more than one console.

      Claiming that if Nintendo can't do something about the Wii U they are done in the home console business is absolutely absurd. For one, they have a slew of major first party titles releasing this year which will increase sales. Monster Hunter and Lego City managed to increase sales quite a bit and they were third party games. Secondly, they have even MORE titles we don't even know about yet such as other collaborations and other third party games….and Smash Bros, a ground up Zelda game, maybe even reboots of old franchises for HD.

      People were starting to claim the same thing when the 3DS was doing poorly and now it curb stomps everything sales-wise. Their next console…or maybe the console after that, MIGHT be some sort of hybrid console/handheld, but it would still be considered a home console as it could be played at home….on the big screen. You can take the Wii U on the road…..doesn't mean it isn't a home console.

    • koopzilla says:

      I guess most of what needs to be said to that has already been said. But, do you think if and likely when PS4 and X-Box 720 sell similar numbers that EA will pull support, or decide to not release something like Madden for them? I think not a chance. Do you think PS4/X-Box 720 versions of games like Madden and FIFA will be gimped and missing features from games released on other consoles months before? Again, I say not a chance, they will be going all out for these versions of the games. And if these games don't sell what they need to to recoup the high development costs do you think EA will resort to slandering the PS4 or X-Box 720? Because the claims that Wii U isn't powerful enough to run old engines that run fine on PS3/360 is slandering. They could have simply said we don't feel Wii U has sold enough units to release our games for, instead they make up what are obviously stupid lies. They even ensured their games wouldn't sell on Wii U by gimping the Wii U versions, and putting out the entire Mass Effect trilogy just before Mass Effect 3 came out for Wii U, they are even selling the Trilogy now for $20 cheaper than 3 alone on Wii U. Why would anyone buy those games?

      It's not hard to believe that EA are doing this for revenge because they think they can destroy Nintendo. They have already shown in the past that they are a vindictive company with the whole Dreamcast fiasco. When you consider that a year before Wii U came out they were very excited, and Wii U was perfectly in line with what they were doing, and the console would be a perfect fit for their games, it's not hard to see something happened between them.

    • chris says:

      As of now aren't there about 4 million units sold worldwide? Also, wouldn't more games sell more systems? Hmmmm…

  7. koopzilla says:

    Great article!

    I'm about done hearing about EA, just when I think I couldn't possibly dislike them more, they one up themselves and make it even worse. Lying to us because they obviously take their customers as complete idiots is a terrible idea. Even a lot of people who only play X-Box or Playstation who they support with pretty much every game they make, are getting fed up with their crap. EA plans on fully supporting the PS4/720, which will have a smaller userbase than Wii U, with even higher development costs. They are already in a bad situation and closing studios and laying off workers. Ditching one platform for two others with zero userbase, and higher development costs is not going to be doing themselves any favors. When they do make a game for Nintendo platforms they purposefully make it inferior just wasting that money, they might as well just not even develop it to begin with. I expect their situation to continue to worsen.

    I don't like their business practices. I think it's unfair that they buy up all these exclusive contracts so there can be no competition to their games. NFL, NHL, FIFA…. and now worst of all, Star Wars. My hope is that the cost of all these exclusivities is going to bury them. This also allows them to basically put out the same game over and over with minimal changes, and charge full price for it. They buy up lot's of smaller developers and basically shut them down later. They think and have even stated that consumers enjoy being nickle and dimed to death. I won't even get started on their DRM crap, I'll just say it sucks hard. They try to bully console makers, who they think need their support. When they think someone is in trouble they make ridiculous demands and if they aren't met they act like little babies and try to screw them over. Why they think Nintendo is in the same boat SEGA was with Dreamcast is beyond me, they apparently forgot what major successes Wii and DS were, and 3DS is becoming, but it's clear they think they can destroy them. And they are even basically trying to discourage people from buying a Wii U by saying it's weaker than the 360/PS3, and won't run their engines, and is not even a next gen (or "4th gen" as if they think video games begin and end with them, even though they have been around more than 4 generations, so that just makes no sense whatsoever) even when these things completely contradict everything they said only a year ago.

    I also find it crazy that there are some who even defend EA, saying this is all Nintendo's fault. That they are a business and would never hold a grudge like that. But, they already have when SEGA refused their ridiculous demand of being the only company allowed to make sports games for the Dreamcast. It can't be proven that this is all over Origin, but everything points to that no matter what you say. Even if that is not it, something obviously happened, and EA is holding a grudge over it. I also don't think Nintendo should give them a dime to buy support for the Wii U. Don't reward their childish behavior, and let them destroy themselves.

    Honestly, I have never been a fan of EA. They just don't make games I care about. As a Star Wars fan, I am very saddened by them getting the exclusive Star Wars license. But, maybe it's not all bad, it must have cost them a pretty penny. I didn't really avoid EA games on purpose before, it's just I didn't want any of their games for the most part. From now on, if it says EA on it I refuse to buy it on principle, even if it happens to look like something I want (which coming from EA is very unlikely).

    • RicardJulianti says:

      Agreed. Share this article wherever you can. I mean EVERYWHERE. It's time EA takes a fall.

      I don't even LIKE NHL, FIFA, Madden, NCAA (Kind of…i've bought it once or twice….played through a season and never touched it again), and I think their monopoly is bull. I thought we had anti-trust laws in America. It is clearly prohibiting a free market in the gaming sports industry. No game will sell if it doesn't have the NFL license on it, so EA is free to charge what they want, how they want, as often as they want, and have absolutely zero competition. Where's a good anti-trust lawyer when you need one? Seriously…..

      "But Nintendo underpowered their hardware, ports of 360/PS3 games can't even run well on it! It is clearly worse than those two and will never ever get better" I hate ignorant dbags like that. It is here that I usually point out how bad Resistance and Lair…..PDZero and Bomberman Act Zero….and so on….looked at launch and how they had a load of glaring issues…..and PS3/360 games have never looked any better ever. If they really want to dispute me on it, I link them to the GPU Die shot thread on NeoGAF and tell them to read every single page (all 79 of them) and get back to me….because I have. They never respond.

      EA absolutely thinks they caused the downfall of Sega….which is foolish. Sega had their own sports games…and many turned out better than EA games, so lack of EA support was not the issue. Prematurely cancelling at least 2 pieces of hardware is what did them in…..as well as many other factors. The more EA shuns Nintendo and puts out blatant lies, the more obvious it is that Origin is the issue.

      Also, think about it a second. Everyone has given N a ton of crap about their OS and online…..what if it is a result of EA pulling their support? Nintendo had to all of a sudden figure it all out themselves using whatever knowledge they got from EA. They had to work out the OS, Miiverse and everything involved, unified accounts (which are coming), online in its entirety. The pulling of Origin support could EASILY explain why at least the OS was behind what the Wii had from a speed perspective. Nintendo put their faith in someone else, and they tried to screw them….so Nintendo had to figure it out themselves in a hurry. I could easily see Nintendo take a more hermit approach. Sure they are doing collabs, but I'm thinking they are making those devs come to N to work rather than sending their people out. This is at least twice now that Nintendo tries to partner with someone, "someone" tries to take advantage of them, Nintendo says no and moves on with their life while "someone" tries their hardest to get rid of Nintendo. Why would they ever try something like that again?

      I told my friend about the Star Wars license…..he is going to be working at EA in the QA department (working on FIFA mostly because that's what they do in Vancouver….probably will have his soul sucked away because I hear they treat those employees like dog crap) and his exact words were, "That is terrible news." An EA employee doesn't like EA….that should tell you something right there.

      As I posted above…EA is not only focusing on 2 consoles with much higher dev costs, they are removing titles that aren't seen as "big enough" or "growing". The few titles they have now will keep getting diluted and rehashed and so on and so forth and people will lose interest….if they haven't already. EA is in for a very rude awakening. It's going to be great.

      The ONLY thing I wanted from EA was Mass Effect 3 (which….*sob*) and since that trilogy is done (and ruined) I haven't even considered buying an EA game. If ME3 had been what the entire series was building up to be instead of making the player choices from previous games a fan service/cameos, I probably would have begrudgingly bought Crysis 3 or NFSMW as they looked like fun to an extent. I would have ended up trading them in at some point, but still. IF they manage to make a game that makes me go "OMG. DO WANT", i will rent it from gamefly so they don't get a cent from me. The only title I could see that happening with is Mirrors Edge 2….but they'll probably mess it up somehow so I'd still wait on reviews.

      • koopzilla says:

        I honestly don't get the complaints about the online and OS. I never thought about that having anything to do with this partnership falling apart. I'm assuming the OS complaints are related to the loading times? I didn't have much of problem with that, but I'm all for them making them faster. I actually like the layout of the OS, it's nice and simple.

        I also think the online works great, if they threw it all together pretty fast, they did an excellent job IMO. I also love Miiverse, probably the coolest online component of any system I've used. Most of the people I have heard complain about the online are under the impression that it is the exact same as the Wii and have obviously never even used a Wii U. Seriously, I hear people complain about friend codes and stuff and have no idea what Miiverse even is, and think you can't get online to play games. I read a thread not long ago on GameFAQs (I know, big mistake) and the level of ignorance was astounding.

        • Titan64 says:

          GameFAQs is still around? I thought that site was dead. Anyway, People never want to hear what needs to be said, they only want to hear what they want to hear and are blocked by the numerous websites who only want to spread lies and fallacies about Nintendo. I mean CNN is now jumping on the Nintendo hatewagon. It has gone far beyond hating the Wii U, people have this disdain for Nintendo and I don't know why. I see numerous fansites now turning into hate wagons as well such as NintendoLife. I just don't get it by this point. Can some explain to me why people hate Nintendo other then just to get hits because I know that.

          • koopzilla says:

            I can only think of three reasons people hate on Nintendo. Not that they are good reasons.

            First is jealousy. Not saying other companies don't make great games, many of my favorite games are not made by Nintendo, but Nintendo makes the best games. They have a level of polish, and superb gameplay that most companies can't even come close to. There is no chance for these games coming to other systems, so if you don't own a Nintendo, it sucks not getting to play these games.

            Second Nintendo doesn't do exactly what other companies do. They don't simply upgrade the graphics with each system, they innovate in other areas, such as controls. I'm not actually sure why so many people have such a huge problem with this (other than being complete graphics whores) but it does seem to be the case.

            Third is it's simply "cool" to hate on Nintendo. It's also seen as "cool" to play "mature" games with lots of guns, killing people, violence, gore, etc. Nintendo doesn't make these games, they make games anyone can have fun playing. That gives some people the impression of them being "kiddie", which is seen to be uncool.

            Again, I don't think these are good reasons, but they are the only ones I can come up with. I want to play the games that are fun, it doesn't always have to be about shooting people or whatever. I could care less if that falls under another persons category of cool, if they want to miss out on excellent games, that's their fault. I also feel that innovation is an extremely important part of keeping the game industry alive.

          • timg57867 says:

            Oh I wouldn't take CNN seriously. Check this out! http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2011/03/23/

          • Bismarck says:

            Holy crap. This is clip is absolutely insane. Almost every single thing is said was total malarkey. I love how he said he is a 'hardcore' gamer and grew up with Halo. Not only do I question whether or not he is a hardcore gamer, I question whether he plays games period. Some people are truly beyond help.

        • RicardJulianti says:

          Most of the complaints are due to the "long load times" but I never had a problem with them either. It seems like the people complaining needed to enter the settings menu 4 times a day for some reason. It's not like someone is going to die if they can't access Miiverse in under 5 seconds….yet some people act that way.

          Faster load times? Sweet. Necessity? Not really. If there was a super long load time, it would give me a chance to look at a text I got or pet my dogs or something….not a big deal. Miiverse is amazing….blows the XBL community out of the water, sticks their head under the surface, and waits for them to drown.

          I rarely post screenshots, but I love that you can….at any moment. Trolls are almost non-existent and if they do show up, they are torn to shreds by the community. People actually communicate rather than screaming obscenities at each other because they got killed in CoD. People say Nintendo "is for kids" but the Miiverse community is more mature than 90% of people I see on other sites……I mean, come on.

          The first thread I ever read on NeoGAF was the GPU die shot thread…..actually discussing the technical aspects of the GPU, no trolling, just straight tech talk…it was amazing. For some reason I thought the rest of GAF was going to be similar…..instead it is no better than GameFAQs or VGchartz's Gamrconnect forums.

          In fact, someone posted my article on VGChartz and it was all going well, until this dude comes in and starts talking about how EA won't be the only company that treats the Wii U like garbage and other nonsense (2006 hardware and the like)

          I proceeded to bitch-slap him around with info. I'll let you read the exchange: http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=159

          I really hope Nintendo releases a Miiverse app for smartphones at some point. They got the homemade one taken down in a hurry, so I'm thinking they will. Being able to post from my phone…..oh geez. At the very least, getting the web version to that point would be awesome. I keep my pc in the same room as my Wii U though so it's a little less appealing.

          • koopzilla says:

            Yeah, I was hoping for a dedicated app myself. I'm guessing it's coming since this is just a beta version. I still like being able to check my notifications and look at other peoples posts from my phone.

            I've never been to NeoGAF, or VGCharts. I go to GameFAQs from time to time, but I usually just vote on the poll or look up something about a game or something, I usually stay away from the forums, because it's like troll paradise there.

          • RicardJulianti says:

            I'm glad you can at least comment from the web version too. Typing out things is a bit quicker, but I do love using the stylus to type. If they would just increase the character limit a little….even to twitter levels of 160….it would be an improvement in my book. 100 is fine though, it just takes getting used to.

            I haven't been to GameFAQs in years, I used to visit all the time to look up guides if I was stuck or just wanted something extra to look for in a game, but I sometimes forget it exists.

            I used to frequent IGN….not the boards even, just the troll ridden comment section. I've gotten a crapload of upvotes though so it's not like I was sucked into trolling. During the game drought though, sheesh. IGN couldn't even post a semi positive article, even though there were indies announcing games left and right. They had articles like "How to fix Wind Waker" (I love that game even with its flaws) and "How to keep Mario Kart from going stale"…..they obviously didn't play MK7, and Moriarty's review of Castlevania Mirror of Fate was so nitpicky and is the lowest score out there for the game I think. I get that he has been a fan of the series forever, but if he can't leave his expectations at the door when writing a professional review, he needs to not write it. He is also a massive Sony fanboy, and was one of those people who were proclaiming that the Vita was going to dominate the 3DS.

            After that kind of crap I took to the internet to find other sources of conversation. Came across NeoGAF, and VGChartz…and the latter led me here. PlayerEssence is the bomb dot com. Respect in the community, no troll bait such as that ridiculous CNNMoney article (I mean, really?) and a lean towards Nintendo……I didn't have any other company's system until the 360. Growing up we didn't play videogames, we played Nintendo. Some might label me as a "fanboy"….but I am merely a fan, just as I am with Sony and the 360 (not so much MS or the Xbox in general)

            My articles lean Nintendo because there just isn't any exciting news for the other two at the moment. When things are announced…..awesome. But vague announcements of games that won't be around for another 8 months that we see 0 gameplay footage for means little. My articles come from relevant topics that get me amped to rant about. I write them in one sitting because if I step away for too long, I lose the rhythm and it's harder to start back up.

            Hopefully I can make some neat E3 predictions in the next couple weeks. Won't be anything Earth shattering, but E3 is always fun………how'd I get so off track????

          • timg57867 says:

            So the Wii U's online would be better if EA hadn't pulled the plug. Damn… When we got our Wii U for Christmas, my mom got him a copy of Fifa 2013 instead of Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing Transformed. I really wish my mom hadn't gotten us Fifa now…

          • RicardJulianti says:

            Possibly, we will never know if that's what happened and honestly……..everything online seems to work just fine.

            I've got people in VGChartz saying they "stopped reading when this guy said an insane and unsubstantiated rumor from Reddit was plausible"…..if they don't read the rest of the article, how are they supposed to know WHY it could be plausible? Others are saying "Blame Nintendo!" or that "it's funny to see fan claim any company that isn't supporting the Wii U is garbage"…..I couldn't care less if Avalanche or Deep Silver doesn't want to develop for the system. The next Just Cause is going to be awesome and if I have to pick up on the PS4 when I get one eventually, so be it. The company isn't garbage though.

            I mean, you could always trade it in to get credit for something else. EA hates used games after all, haha.

          • Frank Urbanski says:

            The fact that people are supporting EA in that thread is hilarious and sad. Even if they don't see an issue with how EA is treating Nintendo, EA has done, oh I don't know, 20 other things to make people hate them. EA is a bad company. They're anti-consumer, anti-gamer, and honestly, just anti-video game. If they want to be all business, then they need to get out of the entertainment industry. They'd be better off manufacturing cardboard boxes. They need to fix themselves or sell their franchises and go out of business.

          • RicardJulianti says:

            Hahah agreed. "Well I like EA games"…..okay….I can see that, I used to like them as well….but they are a terrible company that cares nothing for the consumer.

            What also cracks me up is that Soundwave had nothing to come back with at me after I went and destroyed his argument. He simply ignored me. Also, I fail to see how this isn't hypocrisy at its finest. Say one thing, do the opposite. Hypocrisy down to a tee.

            Even EA's cardboard boxes would be crappy. You would need to pay extra to have them assembled for you and you would have to send them back to EA instead of letting someone else borrow them. I'm not entirely sure EA can fix themselves at this point. They are trying by focusing on products that are growing, are on platforms that are "long-term viable in the industry" or are already big.

            Literally throwing more money at large projects, projects that are getting larger, and on systems that will increase the development budget. How can they not see this is a terrible idea?

  8. RicardJulianti says:

    Found this on NeoGAF (I don't have an email that isn't free, so I can't sign up and discuss….otherwise this article would be up)….. http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5552

    It seems EA is bailing on games that aren't profitable (Crysis for example…oddly enough) or "aren't on platforms that we feel are long-term viable in the industry"

    They are going to go down….HARD. The one minor thing EA had going for it was variety…TPS, FPS, Racing, Sports, Action Horror, Sci-fi third person action……..now they are going to be paring that down….instead of just diluting all of their games to be the same thing. Probably means no Wii U games either since any games released on it don't count as being on a system that is "long-term viable in the industry".

    I can't wait to see them fall.

  9. jesgrad07 says:

    I finally located the article about Nintendo and EA's history. http://www.notenoughshaders.com/2013/03/25/the-se… The title is a bit much but it just shows that EA and Nintendo's relationship has never been too healthy.

    • Aiddon says:

      short version: EA snubs Nintendo and whenever EA tries to negotiate with Nintendo, EA makes OUTRAGEOUS demands (or has unreasonable expectations) that inevitably (and rightfully) leads to Nintendo saying "no" (or to EA's games flopping due to laziness). Rinse, repeat about three or four times.

      • jesgrad07 says:

        Yeah pretty much. Still a good article and worth a read or listen to with natural reader.

        • Aiddon says:

          it just amazes me that EA's attitude can be st be described as a tantrum. This is NOT how a business should act. Say what you will about Nintendo but they don't stamp their feet like children when something doesn't go their way.

  10. Ogya says:

    Well written article Ricard.

  11. Infernos33 says:

    The whole frostbite 3 thing is ridiculous. It is EA stubbornness and developer laziness. Crysis 3 was working on the Wii U with the CryEngine 3 ( a powerful new engine) and Shadow of the Eternals runs on cryengine 3 and it looked pretty good for being an incomplete crowdfunded game. For the star wars games, Disney's contract with EA better had included full support for Nintendo systems. Disney has more money than God, so they probably could make EA put the Star Wars games on the Wii U and 3DS.

  12. James Cribbin says:

    Excellent article. I think it's time to boycott EA, if they don't want our money so be it.

  13. Frank Urbanski says:

    Good article. Makes me sad to know that an article like this would never see the light of day on a larger site. I usually don't like to support all the conspiracy theories that tend to float around the gaming community, but the evidence for this one is piling up. It's getting difficult to ignore it.

    We may not be able to pinpoint the root of this issue to the Origin deal, but it is clear that there is something fishy going on behind the scenes. And even though that's the case, that's EA's business. If they don't want to be a part of the Wii U library this gen, then they're well within their rights to do so. But what I can't forgive is that, as of right now, they are basically lying to us. And they're not even lying in a clever way. Do they really believe that we are so stupid?

    EA does not have a strong partnership with Nintendo. End of story. They need to quit lying to us. And then after they quit lying they need to fix everything else that's wrong with them.

  14. Intel says:

    Ricard keep writing these awesome articles. Oh and sorry for writing your name wrong in your other piece. It was a sight or reading comprehension fail on my part lol.

  15. Sid says:

    Excelente article Ricard!, I must admit that now I want to see what would EA say if the Wii U starts to sold a lot of more units than expected.

  16. JohnnyB says:

    Excellent article and a real eye-opener. I haven’t liked EA in awhile but this really pushed me into realized what dickheads they really are.

  17. Matthew Wesley says:

    It's not the lack of support, it's the bullshit that gets me.

  18. Ray01 says:

    EA is officially Exposed! lol
    Great article Ricard! :P

  19. timg57867 says:

    Off topic: That number is actually 50,000 units Ricard.
    On topic: AMAZING ARTICLE! Honestly, I bet as we speak, arrogant oafs all over the Internet are going to try and damage control the situation in EA's favor. I can hear Peach64 blabbing on Nintendolife now. This situation has gotten out of hand. EA cannot be allowed to get away with this. Listen Iwata, I don't know how you will do it, but this holiday, make sure the Wii U soars through the sales charts and prove to EA that you don't need their crappy games!

  20. Titan64 says:

    Ricard, I feel very sorry for you. It must have been really cringing for you to write "EA" multiple times. With that being said, great article.

  21. NS3210 says:

    Journalists don't want to defend Nintendo, they rather continue to d**k ride Sony and Microsoft although Sony is in financial turmoil, and the Nextbox has many leading to skepticism.

    Off topic, but it's funny that Japanese journalists have no problem with Nintendo compared to over here in the U.S.

    Famitsu
    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&s

    • Aiddon says:

      true. I really do wonder why the press finds ANY reason to bash Nintendo yet they never comment on the PS3 and 360 having NEVER earned any money for their companies.

      • timg57867 says:

        I am not sure about Microsoft. They might have been able to break even, but I heard one of the heads comment on its lower profitability in comparison to other divisions. Sony however, has DEFINITELY not made a dime as the thread I found explains…

  22. Rpx says:

    Is people really going to paid between $399 to $499 for next-gen consoles at launch with a questionable launch game line, right now at this moment?

    We need more games for launch that would appeal to the gamers? Is that going to occur?

  23. jesgrad07 says:

    Thank you for writing this. I wouldn't be surprised if they try this mess with Sony and or Microsoft down the line and just try to use their platform, Origin. They did this mess with Sega after fully supporting their consoles so it isn't out of the question.

  24. Aiddon says:

    it is kind of interesting at how badly EA has turned its tune towards Nintendo. Even if the Origin fiasco is unverified SOMETHING had to have happened in order for EA to shun a partner like this. I will say I'm actually kinda hoping the PS4 and Nextbox have a sluggish first year just to give third parties a rude awakening.

  25. routerbad says:

    Well, first of all, very well written article, but I have a few corrections that don't effectively change the message, just the details.

    The WiiU CPU is running at around 1.25GHz, has a 4 stage pipeline, agressive OOE, strong SIMD, and supports SMP. Think of it as the best of what PPC750 series had to offer, with all of the modern logic from Power7 core. PPC750 never supported SMP (multiprocessing), had a weak SIMD engine, and was never produced below 90nm, and was never stable above 900MHz. Power7 is produced at 45nm, the SIMD logic is much improved, supports SMP, has shorter pipeline stages (4), has more aggressive OOE. So the WiiU chip has the IPC that made PPC750 and G3 famous on relatively low clocks, with SMP, SIMD, and PowerISA 2.06 added in from Power7.

    Compare this to even the Jaguar core in PS4 and Xbox, with 21+pipeline stages, mediocre SIMD performance, and less agressive OOE. Per core, WiiU CPU actually outperforms Jaguar handily, but Jaguar is more parallel, which can be a good and bad thing. Good for multitasking, but bad for games, as overengineering often causes steep performance issues when using multiprocessing for game code.

    The GPU is completely custom, and you are right in asserting that most people can't figure out what ~50% of the logic does, though the SIMD shaders are based on Southern Islands HD6XXX, nothing else seems to have been derived from AMD at all.

    The 32MB of EDRAM is an important feature, as the most bandwidth intensive operations in graphics processing are also notoriously the smallest ones. The framebuffer and z-buffer both take up very little space in VRAM, but are the most sensitive to bandwidth limitations, and having those functions embedded on the GPU on the fastest memory available is great. It is also enough space to handle some of the texture data, and possibly enough to make tessellation even more efficient than it was on the Wii. Tessellation creates assets on the fly through polyon subdivision, and creates more realistic textures that are also completely dynamic. We've seen this in use on Nintendo systems since the GCN, but not so much on PS or XBOX, because it was terribly inefficient on those platforms. The hardware tessellator on the Wii U is most likely custom Nintendo logic, as it was on GCN and is on the 3DS and Wii. Simply put, no one does tessellation like Nintendo, and it will be interesting to see what happens when more games on Wii U start using that feature, like the creators of TokiTori2, who were able to eliminate over 100MB of texture data.

    Thanks for the article, I'm looking forward to more.

    • RicardJulianti says:

      I could have sworn the CPU was at 3Ghz……maybe it's a per core vs. total difference?

      I didn't include most of that other stuff because I'm writing for both the tech-savvy and for people who have no clue, haha. I could have gone into the cache as well, seeing as the Wii U has 3mb of cache and the PS4 has 4mb of cache. The cache is shared between the cores so on the Wii U, each core gets 1mb of cache while the each of the 8 cores on the PS4 gets .5mb.

      Adding all of that stuff you said would balloon my article big time…and it's probably too big already. Hence my "there are far more technical aspects etc."

      Thanks for the input! Question….do you know a lot about graphene? It came to me while I was writing this one…..it could really change everything. For instance, scientists made antennas out of graphene and they were capable of 100 terabits/sec transfer speeds…..wirelessly. First company that is able to use that and do so cheaply (already cheaper than silicon I think)……is going to rock the ship big time.

      • routerbad says:

        There are some great inroads being made with graphene transistors but activity within a transistor is already wireless, and works similarly to a synapse. This is where the process length is derived, XXnm refers to the distance between the source gate and draw gate.

        • RicardJulianti says:

          Ah, I see.

          Couple more things….which do you think would be readily available/used in consoles sooner, graphene or quantum computing? For quantum, is it likely developers would need to relearn coding in order for things to work, or do you think it could take care of regular code with brute force and still perform better?

          Found this article, so it got me thinking: http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2013/05/14/quant

          Sorry if I'm bugging you…..I find this kind of stuff fascinating and never get the chance to ask someone about it, haha.

      • Furious Francis says:

        Should I change the article Ricard? I did see the clock speed was too high for the Wii U

        • RicardJulianti says:

          Good call on changing it.

          On the part about Mass Effect 3 sales, it should be 50,000 units, not 5,000. I failed at reading decimals\missed the 0…..also it was 3 in the morning, haha.

          • routerbad says:

            Shared on Fb and twitter, lets get this out as far as humanly possible.

          • RicardJulianti says:

            I have tweeted it a few times and gotten about 5 retweets, haha. Yes…the more that see it the better.

            I kind of want to tweet it again and send it to GoNintendo, NintendoLife and maybe Emily Rogers……..because they can get the word out much better than I can. I only have 44 followers, haha.

            I don't want to keep spamming it though because those followers will just be like "SHUT UP"

  26. WSJ4L says:

    Another brilliant article, Ricard. Why can't more journalists bring the EA-Nintendo issue to light? If something like this happened to Sony or Microsoft, they'd be all over the company's ass. But it doesn't matter because it's only Nintendo, right?

  27. bigchad says:

    i just read an article about starwars, and ea stated today it will be releasing on all major platforms including smartphones and tablets. so does that mean including wii u??? at this point though, i dont really care.

  28. Furious Francis says:

    Fantastic article, I'll put it up on N4G and see how many trolls I can get to read it.

    • RicardJulianti says:

      Make sure you change it to "Fairy Tales" instead of "Tails" first…….I could definitely see them getting all hot and bothered by that little mistake and try to discredit the whole thing. They are trolls after all. Sorry for being "that guy" :(

      Everyone should share it everywhere. Make it hit like an avalanche.

    • James Cribbin says:

      Hey Francis before I read your comment I already submitted the article. Funny thing is it's not getting approved at all. Sounds fishy to me. Never liked N4G anyways.

      • RicardJulianti says:

        I've been browsing N4G looking for the article so I could read comments…..but literally the only articles that mention EA are positive ones. What the hell.

        "Was EA right about Sim City? All Signs Point To They Were", "EA Can Break The Star Wars Curse." and perhaps the most ridiculous.

        "I Don't Hate EA and Neither Should You." ……..What.

        Our best bet might be to start leaving it in comments. Grassroots style. Get annoying with it. haha.

        • bigchad says:

          its got 2 approvals on n4g it just needs 8 more to go on the site for public comment. it looks like the black baron was one of the approvals. on n4g click on the box with the numbers next to the robot head to brouse pending articles. you can also take some kind of test to be able to be an approver if you chose to do so. if you chose to do that you can help get good article on the site and keep the trash out.

        • bigchad says:

          by the way it’s on the 4th or 5th page of the pending content list.

      • bigchad says:

        on n4g the article just got one report needs to remove tags ps3, ps4, 360, 720.

  29. MrSilver says:

    Really awesome article, I sure hope this one gets a lot of exposure! I don't ever plan to play another EA published game again.

  30. Mknzy says:

    Bravo! Very well written as always! Thank you for your insight

    • Adarazz says:

      I know you are not a friend of mine, Francis, but this has to be said. EA is most definitely NOT the worst company in America. Anyone who honestly thinks they are is a ignorant fool. Many of companies, like Bank of America ruin people’s lives on a daily basis. Sure EA has made it’s fair share of bad decisions, but there are far worse companies in the U.S. than them.

      • RicardJulianti says:

        I don't know what this has to do with Mknzy's comment or my article.

        Not once did I mention EA winning the "Worst Company in America" award twice. It's fairly obvious that an internet poll where you can vote multiple times, and awards a "Golden Poo" isn't serious. I doubt anyone sincerely thinks EA is the absolute worst company in America.

        • Aiddon says:

          not when the Bank of America exists

        • MrSilver says:

          Yeah I was pretty thrown off by that too. Seems more like that comment was posted as a reply to Mknzy just to get at the top of the comments. Either way this is a site about video games, not the problems of various countries around the world.

      • Furious Francis says:

        I have nothing against you personally Adarazz, It's your comments that I had a issue with. But if you think EA isn't the worst company in America, that's your opinion. And I'm cool with you stating that.

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