Electronic Arts Engineer Blasts the Wii U

Published 2 years ago by

Electronic Arts Wii U Skipping Criticism

When Electronic Arts announced last week that it had no games in development for the Wii U — that, in fact, it had no intentions of supporting the console whatsoever — it served as a veritable poleaxing of both a company — Nintendo — and a console that have long fledged to attain support from third-party developers and publishers.

The indictment couldn’t have been clearer: EA is cutting costs; the Wii U simply wasn’t worth it. But don’t take our word for it.

Unleashing a volley of criticisms in a multi-tweet rant, Bob Summerwill, whose LinkedIn profile lists him as a senior software engineer and architect at Electronic Arts, elaborated, if you will, upon why his employer (and definitely why he) fails to see a promising future for the Nintendo Wii U. Summerwill has since discarded the messages, but not before they were captured by CVG.

“The Wii U is crap,” one bluntly began. “Less powerful than an XBOX360. Poor online/store. Weird tablet. Nintendo are walking dead at this point.”

According to Summerwill, “Nintendo platforms have always been very poor revenue-wise for third parties. Only [first-party properties] such as Mario and Zelda make money.”

Wii U Support EA

Continuing his complaints, Summerwill lambasted Nintendo’s MO of being unconventional, suggesting, essentially, that instead of failing repeatedly to beat its rivals with… eccentricity, it should have pulled a post-Dreamcast Sega and joined them:

“Sony, MS, Apple, Google all following the same playbook… standard, powerful, hardware, with focus on software and services.

“Nintendo are still operating like it’s 1990. They should have ‘done a Sega’ and offered Mario/Zelda as PS4/Durango exclusives.

“Instead they make this awful console, and [Wii Street U]. Just stop it! Just make great games!”

Later tweets accounted for how Electronic Arts — a company in the midst of dramatically restructuring its operating focus — views the Wii U from a market perspective.

“Yep, we’ve got plenty of problems, but Wii U isn’t where that family/casual market is. It’s on mobile/tablet now.

“It is an utterly intentional decision to focus our resources on markets which actually matter… like mobile, and Gen4 [“Gen 4″ being the next Xbox and PS4].”

To Nintendo’s benefit, it was just days after EA’s announcement of abandoning the Wii U that another mega-publisher, Ubisoft, expressed its wholehearted optimism for the console — urging consumers to support upcoming Wii U titles such as Rayman Legends, Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

That said, Nintendo has some profound problems it can’t ignore. EA might have forced Summerwill to delete his tweets but its own actions speak volumes no 140 characters (or, you know, 280 or 420 or 980) ever could. With the manufacturer skipping its E3 2013 press conference — and the show slated to be all about the next-generation offerings of Microsoft and Sony — Electronic Arts might not be the only publisher who eventually finds their Wii U-committed feet suddenly growing cold.

Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Bob Summerwill Twtitter [via CVG]

TAGS: Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Wii U


  • Cariannis

    “Just make great games!”

    Could he tell this to EA? Or is that to hard?

  • FatJesus

    He’s right. If Pokemon X and Y were multiplatform, Nintendo would be in the bank. I just hope it doesn’t go the route of Sega. A world without Pikachu and all the others is a world I don’t want to live in.

  • Breado the Great

    I can’t feel bad for the big N even alittle bit. They are a company that made a couple of great games back in the day and now all they do is re-hash it over and over again. I like Zelda but it stopped being interesting some time ago. Mario is an awful stero-type, and even pokemon….that hasn’t evolved ever! Nintendo should just stick to software and pump out the same old things over and over. It’s like a tangela, it doesn’t evolve and it’s shite…

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/FerguliosoFilms Poncho

      Literally everything you just said is wrong.

      • breado the great

        ya you may be right, tangela was at least usefull against water and rock types…nintendo is like a magikarp without the prospect of evolving. Good call on the correction man, i got yo back from here on out! :)

        • LunoYoryiki


        • Jonathan

          lol, nice :)

        • Joe

          that just means, when it DOES evolve, it will be the most bad ass.

    • Kytenji

      Tangela actually does evolve yo. Into Tangrowth. http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs49/f/2009/218/a/1/465_Tangrowth_by_Pokedex.png

  • Justin Loomis

    What is it with companies acting like a-holes lately? First Jay Wilson of Blizzard, Adam Ortho (ugh, thank god he’s fired), now Bob Summerall. Unprofessional. You are not supposed to speak like your own angry fanbase. Especially you EA, who are losing more and more with every move you make, and every year you win Worst Company In America.

    • Varteras

      It’s not usually the company. It’s usually one loudmouth within the company. Hence why those people very often get terminated or ‘moved to a new project’. These guys are also human too and prone to the same bias and outburst as anyone else. I just think that if you’re making the money a lot of these guys make you’d want to keep your heated opinion to yourself or at least present it in a non-combative manner and not risk losing your job. Adam Orth was just a complete idiot. He caused a tremendous headache for Microsoft with an opinion that he could have presented in a far better way. Though considering he was working for a company that had yet to reveal its plans and was already under fire for certain rumors he should have just kept his trap shut.

    • http://gamerant.com Rob Keyes

      I don’t mind it. I prefer people not only speak through media-trained translators. Let them have their own opinions – it’s the only way the industry and its followers can see honesty, and when big changes are coming, we need some honesty.

  • Xopheuz

    Apple should bye Nintendo, reconstruct it and shut down the losers, go with Mario and Zelda on souped up iPads as the new system

    • Daniel Carlson

      Bad idea is very bad

  • Chris

    No I do not agree with Nintendo joining Sony or Microsoft… The thought of classics like Zelda or Mario or even Donkey Kong appearing on the Playstation or Xbox is just sickening… The gaming community is so full of drones, its just sickening really… Personally, online gaming should have been left on the PC… Call of Duty and Halo is the same old rehashed garbage over and over and OVER… a vicious cycle that will never end sadly…. People whine cuz Nintendo isn’t like Sony or Microsoft but commend them for being innovative and different.. I mean obviously they struck a nerve somewhere cuz APPARENTLY both Sony AND Microsoft developed their own motion control designs afterall so boo-frickin-hoo lol and apparently Sonys new remote has a screen on it much the Wii Us, only smaller…. Geeez, I wish all of these biased pricks would grow up… They’re just video games afterall lol

    • Joe

      I agree. Halo, CoD and Battlefield and about any other game on the other consoles, (Uncharted, God of War, Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and clank, Fable) they are all just re-hashing the same idea. Mario and Zelda, sure, they re-hash the same idea, but, What makes Nintendo great is that each game feels new and fresh. not so much for the others I mentioned.

  • Jonathan

    I’m not a Wii’er (U or otherwise) so what’s actually the deal with the U.

    Is it underpowered?? Is it a bugger to programme for like the PS3 was when it was first released.

    Is it supposed to be a next gen console replacing the Wii or is it some form of mid-life update?

    I’m not down with the whole waving remote thing anyways so the Wii never appealed in the first place.

    • frayzure

      The problem is that EA is “butthurt” because Nintendo wasn’t going to let them get their hands in the cookie jar. Secondly (worst company in america) is to lazy to program games to run on the system. So they’ll take the lazy way with Microsoft and Sony. Only thing they don’t realize is that families aren’t going to dish out 450~600 for a system(and thats more than likely EXCLUDING games, gold sub, remotes.) Reason why I’m going that high is because the “high powered” parts are also high in cost.

    • Joe

      The Wii U is better. it is the only new gen system that will keep the purity of GAMING. the others are shifting to more “Interactive Movies” Like the developers grew up watching other people play games as opposed to actually PLAYING the games. The New tablet controller gives the games new possibilities, but developers are too afraid to attempt to use this new idea as people will see that they have no real imagination or talent. Finding ways to utilize the second screen is beyond them. The Pro Controller can be used if you don’t like the Wii remote. That controller is just liie the PS and Xbox controller. Wii U is fully Backwards compatable, the PS4 is not. the next box is most likely not either. the old controllers and accessories work on Wii U, not the PS4. New controllers are needed,as well as games.

      • Dante

        I love thse disingenuous arguments coming from Nintendo fans. So you actually believe there is nothing of value on the Playstation or XBox?

        You honestly believe that all they have are “Interactive Movie” games?

        Look, the Wii U is a machine with possibilities, for Nintendo. 3rd Parties never make much on a Nintendo system. All of this “EA has it in for Nintendo because they’re mad about Origin” talk is ridiculous. EA has it in for money. The money is not coming from the Wii U and likely won’t for any 3rd party developers.

        The controller, IS the big problem. That GamePad is the entire focus of the system and it necessitates an entirely different programming set from Sony or Microsoft’s platforms – this costs money. Why spend it if there is no or little chance of return? To which you reply, use the Pro controller when you clearly find purchasing new controllers to be a con for a system.

        Nintendo’s Wii U will NEVER reach the audience the Wii had…NEVER, EVER, EVER…the sooner Nintendo realizes this the better they’ll be.

        • Frayzure

          did you know that nintendo makes between 15-30 dollars per wii u sold? They’re a company that reconizes a profit as a profit. They aren’t as greedy as the other two. But then again nintendo has been around since 1889, so they’ve had time to stock pile money.

          • Knock Knock

            Greed? What the hell are you talking about? The gaming industry is business. After all the hard work that developers put into their products there is absolutely noting wrong with them wanting to make a profit of it. There are a lot of hands extended waiting for their cut of the profit once a console is released or a game is debuted. And the money doesn’t fall out their ass it comes from their consumers.

            So yeah depending on how cutting edge their project was there going to ask from a pretty penny to compensate all the hard work that went into it. Spoiled brats are expecting to pay pennies on the dollar for thousand dollar projects. That is greedy.

            I find it so weird the adults call the gaming industry and the movie industry greedy. No matter how bad a game or movie is it takes a lot of work and a lot of people to create it. Ultimately you don’t need games or movies so it’s not like they are withholding some vital necessity of life, get over yourselves people.

  • K

    Look, the Wii U will manage just fine if Nintendo gets its act together.

    As for EA, they’re not developing games for the console because Nintendo said no to that ridiculous Origin service. And if anybody’s familiar with the Origin issues, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

    • Flyingfox

      “Spoiled brats are expecting to pay pennies on the dollar for thousand dollar projects.”
      *slow clap*
      Congrats, you have just summed up the majority of the companies in the gaming community

    • flyingfox

      sorry that was directed at the person that replied to Frayzure. Idky it didn’t show up under their post…. I did click on the reply by their name, but oh well i guess