It’s not the end times, but yet another blow has hit Nintendo that is sure to lead to further speculation about the company’s troubles. According to an official statement from Electronic Arts, the long-running Madden franchise will not be available on the Wii U this year.

In other words, Wii U owners that were looking forward to Madden NFL 25 (with Barry Sanders on the cover) will be sorely disappointed. It’s also interesting to note that this will be the first time since 1991 that the franchise has not appeared on a Nintendo console. after EA Sports nixed any future 3DS support after 2011’s iteration.

While Madden might be skipping out on the Wii U this year, EA Sports is still optimistic that the two brands will reunite some time in the future.

“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 delivering additional Madden NFL products for Nintendo fans in the future.”

This news also calls into question the state of affairs at both Nintendo and EA. Nintendo has been struggling to get third party support for the Wii U since launch, and as time wears on more and more developers have opted not to create Wii U versions.

The console is not selling well as of late, which makes the potential install base small, and there’s the added cost of developing a version that utilizes the Wii U’s gamepad in some meaningful way. It also says a lot when a multiplatform title misses your console, especially when the hardware is reportedly on par, if not better, than the competition.

At the same time, new developments within EA have suggested the once mighty publisher is struggling financially as of late. First, they shut down their EA Partners program, and then came word of company-wide layoffs – two really bad signs. Not to mention the company’s CEO John Riccitiello recently stepped down, and they were named “Worst Company in America.”

So, while it might seem like Madden is skipping the Wii U this year because of Nintendo’s sales troubles, it could just as easily be a byproduct of EA’s own struggles. Either way, it’s a shame when a popular franchise like Madden isn’t available on every console. Hopefully, this is just a temporary thing, and next year’s Madden will be a true multiplatform launch.

What do you make of EA Sports not developing a Wii U version of Madden for this year? Do you think it says more about the Wii U’s troubles or EA’s?

Madden NFL 25 releases August 27, 2013.

Source: Nintendo World Report