EA: Wii weaker than expected, needs more games

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Last week we learned that Nintendo President of Japan Satoru Iwata felt the Wii is not in a “healthy” state and with the release of Electronic Art’s earning report yesterday it seems that EA, being the most prolific third party publisher on the Wii, can’t seem to avoid having the same feelings. Although EA is making the most profit with the Wii than any other console, “revenue is well below expectations due to underperformance of the Wii platform,” EA’s John Schappert told a conference call full of investors.

“I think the Wii platform has been a little weaker than we had certainly anticipated. And there is no lack of frustration to be doing that at precisely the time where we have the strongest third-party share,” EA CEO John Riccitiello said.

“. . . we are reaching out to Nintendo to find ways to partner to push third-party software harder. I frankly think they need more beats in the year than they get out of a first-party slate to be able to have the Wii software platform perform as well as they would like and we are building the products that I think are the most highly rated on the platform and at this point in time, generating the most revenue of any third party platform.”

Fans know that Nintendo’s strength lies in its first party titles and they’ve been asking for more of them despite Nintendo’s plan to trickle them out slowly. It may be an encouraging thought for Nintendo fans to know they’re not alone in wanting more first-party titles. But for Nintendo it may be a sign that the Wii is on shaky ground, when EA’s CEO says more first party titles are needed throughout the year to help reinvigorate the Wii.

You can read the whole earnings call transcript here.


As reader Eolirin points out:

I think [Riccitiello]’s saying that Nintendo cannot possibly do it all with first party, and that EA can step up to provide necessary third party support so that there’s more consistent must have software for the platform.

The whole outreach to Nintendo thing is a way to shore up those two dovetailing interests; Nintendo needs more games, EA needs more product sales.

This sounds more like what Riccitiello had in mind. Although he does say the Wii needs more games and EA is there to provide them, I’m sure Nintendo fans would love to see more first-party titles instead of Littlest Pet Shop sequels.