Electronic Arts Plays Catch-Up After Shrugging Off Wii's Appeal

Video-game designer Nick Earl spent eight months holed up with his development team rushing to adapt ''The Godfather'' for Nintendo Co.'s Wii.

The reason for the long hours: Earl's employer, Electronic Arts Inc., like some of its competitors, underestimated demand for the Wii, whose motion-activated wand lets players wield a virtual sword, mimic real golf swings or strangle a victim. Instead, game makers put most of their resources into Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3, which was released two days earlier in November with a more conventional hand controller.

Now, publishers are scrambling to get titles to the 3.56 million U.S. and Japanese Wii owners who have made the machine the top-selling game console this year.

''Those companies are backtracking,'' said Anthony Gikas, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. in Minneapolis. ''They're going to need to get their best-branded product on that platform. That will take a good nine to 12 months.''

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ItsDubC4306d ago (Edited 4306d ago )

"Not a single U.S. publisher had a Wii game in the top 20 in February."

That's what happens when devs half-ass the job by just creating ports. Let's see something original. It's true that Zelda was a port, but many of these 3rd-party game series aren't appealing to as wide of an audience nor have the pedigree of the Zelda series.

"The Wii may prove to be a windfall, since games cost just $2 million to $5 million to create, a fraction of the $20 million to $30 million spent on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 titles"

While I like the fact that the videogame industry has become such a big-budget industry in recent years, it'd be a shame to deter indie developers or small-time studios just because they feel that they can't create top-selling games without these big budgets. There was an article recently about a small dev team in Japan who created a game for the DS that taught ppl how to write kanji, and it sold millions of copies. From a business standpoint, imagine the profit margins. In my mind, small-budgeted dev teams are great for the industry because they tend to push the envelope in terms of gameplay innovation. Instead of spending millions to make a prettier 1st-person shooter, imagine that same amount of money being spent on creating innovative games like Katamari.

BubblesDAVERAGE4306d ago

I think the wii sucks balls I tried to play it and it just isnt fun...Its too differnt for me..I was playing zelda and it was pissing me off...Im going to buy one once ssmb comes out just becaust it goes online..

ITR4306d ago

Well apparently to over 1.4 million gamers(US alone), Zelda is fun. It should hit over 2 million sold by the end of this yr.

RedSeven4306d ago

This is ridiculous. Obviousley the Wii is selling more than the 360 and PS3 lately and just now devs are jumping into the water? Maybe we'll see some quality games soon besides crap minigames or Disney movie ports.

ItsDubC4306d ago

It's well-known that EA works its developers into the ground w/ long hours and crazy deadlines. I myself would be pissed as an EA dev if upper-management misallocated serious resources to PS3 and 360 development and then all of a sudden wanted me to work long hours to pump out a game for the Wii as soon as possible because they JUST realized that they underestimated the size of the Wii's userbase. Rushed development = mediocre product, and consumers lose in the end.

sovietsoldier4305d ago

ea sucks,does the wii even want anything from them? they just pump out out half assed games like madden every year. it may sound good but its not.