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EA - Wii Caught Us By Surprise

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the they're-getting-better dept.

Businesses 185

A Next Generation story details comments by EA's CEO John Riccitiello about the surprise hit that is the Wii. The exec as much as admitted that they 'bet on the wrong horse' by focusing on the PS3 and 360 during the console transistion, and now are turning the mighty corporate ship as fast as they can to stay with Nintendo's success. "Nevertheless, Riccetello said that EA had the second-largest market share on Wii as of March with 19 percent, thanks mainly to Tiger Woods PGA Tour. Only Nintendo had a larger share. The firm shipped six new Wii titles in fiscal 2007. EA also shipped eight titles on Nintendo DS. The emergence of online, wireless and geographical differences in the console realm also made things complicated in fiscal '07."

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Bad joke (4, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011073)

The Wii caught them so off gaurd that they nearly pissed themselves.

Thankyou, thankyou, I'll be here all week.

Re:Bad joke (3, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012063)

EA have matured as a company. We know that with age you've always got to consider Wii well in advance. You certainly don't want to be caught short. Looking round EA's forthcoming lineup I definitely see a lot of Wii coming soon.

Re:Bad joke (0, Redundant)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012101)

Nintendo's Wii caught them with their pants down.

Re:Bad joke (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013171)

It took me a while to get that...I think my brain has become numbed to the wii Wii jokes...

Oblig. Reply (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20011085)

Thats what she said!

Good Thing? (4, Insightful)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011089)

In a way, this could be a really good thing for Wii that EA missed the boat to a degree. Without the EA juggernaut from day 1, it may have left enough room for younger, more innovative companies to get a solid foot in the door. That little moment of bad judgment may well reverberate through the lifespan of the console, and I can't say I expect it to be in a bad way.

(...oh, and...first?)

Re:Good Thing? (1, Flamebait)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011181)

So we're getting indy mini-games instead of EA mini-games? I must be missing your point. No third party developers have come out with a must-have title (or even a title worth renting).

Re:Good Thing? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011365)

His point is that Indie developers may have felt there was enough space to produce a game, where they melt have felt the market was too crowded if EA had come on with a huge showing initially. The Indie games will already be in development now, if they're going to be, and EA's late announcement of support won't stop most of them.

I dunno how RIGHT he is, but that's what he meant.

Re:Good Thing? (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013711)

You left out the "IMHO" but I think you got modded unfairly. However from my personal perspective the only games I like on the Wii are Zelda and later on "Metroid" which to me is not a great incentive to buy the console considering we have to pay AU$399 (US$342) in Australia and most games are in the AU$99 (US$85) mark and will stay that price while PS3 and Xbox360 games actually drop by 30% to 50% after 3 to 4 months. I am quite sure the people in Europe and the UK would agree with me on this.

I can't remember when I last purchased and EA game since I am not into sporting games and I do have quite a lot of PS1 and PS2 games as well as 10 Gamecube games and none of them are made by EA. Still if people like EA games that is their prerogative.

Re:Good Thing? (2, Insightful)

bym051d (980242) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011237)

It gave them the opportunity, but few have stepped up. There's a decent amount of Wii software now, but the very large majority is pure crap. Most companies just threw out as much crap as possible hoping it would stick. I bought a Wii in February and have purchased two games. There's one more I want, but I'm playing through the VC original (Paper Mario).

Re:Good Thing? (1)

eison (56778) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011289)

No such luck. Unfortunately, all the other companies missed the boat too. It seems only Nintendo believed the platform would do well.

Re:Good Thing? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012037)

I don't think smaller, innovative companies really compete head-on with EA. I know that there's some other stuff here and there, but isn't EA basically a sports game company? (It's all I've ever seen them make. Personally the only EA games I own are the SSX series). While I'll not dispute the popularity of sports games (hell I even used to like them myself back in the days of "Double Dribble" and "Super Tecmo Bowl" :)), it seems like for the most part, people who buy those types of games are gonna keep buying them because that's what they play. Almost everything innovative is happening in different genres.

Re:Good Thing? (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012875)

EA makes the Command & Conquer games since they bought Westwood.

Well, not so much "makes them" as "ruins the oldest RTS franchise in gaming by releasing crap products and dropping any level of support--including patches--while the game is stolen broken and wrought with bugs and exploits."

The Sports Game Issue (1)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013923)

See, when people look at a game and go "there's nothing different! It's a roster update!", most of the time, that's not really the case.

See, I am a BIG time sports fan. Watch them, play them, officiate some of them... I KNOW my sports. And for awhile - especially in the PS2 era - every EA Sports game was an improvement over the prior year's to the point where it made the game worth it. The changes seem subtile to the naked eye, but even simple AI changes affect the way the game is played, making each subsequent version different - and better - than the prior version.

Lately, that's not the case; ever since buying out the NFL and ESPN licenses, Electronic Arts has proven that they will not improve Madden except in minimal instances (and even those are stupid, like "Oh, your big kickers have a foot icon next to their name!"), and they don't have to, because people buy the same game as 2004, but only at 2007, $60 prices. NBA Live has gotten WORSE over the years, and EA is openly ignoring the PS2 and XBox now. Oh, they'll still charge you $50 for their game, but it's going to have no differences from the year's prior game for that system... at all.

Sports games don't need "innovation" as much as refinement. But EA's not even doing that right. Not recently.

Re:Good Thing? (1)

Twixter (662877) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013017)

Well, if EA had been there since day one, maybe they would have missed the importance of the controller and have developed games without taking that into account. Now they have the chance to develop for the platform with some hindsight.

Surely it did (5, Insightful)

ceeam (39911) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011123)

Just proves how far detached big game companies are from their userbase and how little do they understand entertainment.

Re:Surely it did (3, Insightful)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011171)

EA -- releases the same games year after year, with some updates
Wii -- completely new control system, so something of a new way to game

Yeah, sounds like EA is a bit of a mismatch, eh?

Re:Surely it did (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012565)

EA -- releases the same games year after year, with some updates
It's fucking football. What do you want them to do, change the rules?

They are a business. If people want to buy something and you can make it, you make it.

Re:Surely it did (3, Funny)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013141)

What do you want them to do, change the rules?

Yes! [wikipedia.org] =)

Re:Surely it did (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013229)

That game sounds like all kinds of awesome, and I hate American football.

Re:Surely it did (1)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 7 years ago | (#20014279)

What do you want them to do, change the rules?
I'd prefer to see that effort directed to something new rather than yet another iteration of Madden.

Re:Surely it did (2, Insightful)

mkettler (6309) | more than 7 years ago | (#20014303)

Sure, there's a reasonable excuse for EA's sports based games.

But what about everything else EA does?

Looking on their website, they list 14 "new releases" going back to 2/21/07. Every one of them is a sequel, except "Boom Boom Rocket".

Even outside the sports genre, EA is not well known for having many brand new games. They publish a lot of "xyz 2" and "abc the follow on adventures".

Hence, it's not surprising that the Wii caught them off guard. They don't have any finger on anything new in the gaming market. They're largely a market follower, not a leader. They consistently go with what they know.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I don't think anyone should expect EA to have a good sense of what the next "hot thing" will be.

Re:Surely it did (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012995)


On the other hand, EA has most of the biggest sports franchises and if you can figure out a good way to map the controls for Baseball and Football (american) to the Wii controller than your just not thinking hard enough.

Sports games are a great fit for the Wii and if EA had thrown their weight behind the Wii from the beginning I think you would have seen an even bigger sensation there... of course since Nintendo cant produce them fast enough as it is, perhaps it just doesn't matter.

Re:Surely it did (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#20014153)

I agree, the Wii is a great platform for sports games. I was just commenting that EA seems reluctant to try anything new, while Nintendo is generally associated with that sort of risk-taking. Nintendo likes its franchises, but they know they can only go so far just selling more Mario platformers, so they expanded Mario beyond platformers.

Re:Surely it did (3, Informative)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011261)

no no they are very attached to their userbase. What the Wii did though was expand that. The game execs where too busy selling to the hardcore that they forgot there are millions of other people who are NOT hardcore, and who only pick up a game here or there because their tastes are not for Dead or Alive boobie soccer, Final Fantasy XVI "The search for shemales", or Metal Gear Solid Geriatric.

these are the katamari people, the same types who buy Luxor on their computers. Nintendo through their superior thrashing of the handheld market saw this nitch, and latched onto it. The people who still bought those other systems are still there, but Nintendo brought in a whole new crew to the party.

Basically they did to the industry what they did to jumpstart it back up in the 80's

Re:Surely it did (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011293)

Just proves how far detached big game companies are from their userbase and how little do they understand entertainment.

Well, the thing about new and disruptive technologies, is nobody really sees them coming.

For years, they've been on the march of "better graphics, more of the same kind of game play" that they haven't been able to look outside of that scope and foresee the effects of the Wii.

All of a sudden someone comes along, says "graphics aren't the whole point, and, hey, look at this new controller". The rules change. A lot of people who weren't into games (or losing interest, or whatever) stand up and decide that is exactly what they've been looking for, and where do I get one. It's only once it's become wildly popular and something you can't ignore, that you have to re-evaluate what you thought.

In fairness, I don't think anyone saw the Wii coming or could have planned on the fact that simpler game play, with less intense graphics, that actually involved moving around would have captivated so many people. You're probably right to an extent, but from their position, EA would have looked at the Wii and said "Well, I don't see that being a big deal". Now they're finding out they were horribly wrong.

Me, I still can't get over how much fun the Wii Sports which came with my Wii is -- I mean, bowling of all things? Who knew? These are exactly the kind of games I've wanted -- only I didn't know it, I just knew I couldn't play/stand most games anymore.

Cheers

Re:Surely it did (2, Insightful)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011381)

No offense, but I saw the Wii coming. I underestimated the speed at which it caught on, but I knew that it would be the best console to own this generation.

That's because I started to realize that Nintendo knows what people want better than the people themselves.
Everyone bitched about the Wind Waker. Wind Waker comes out to stellar reviews and praise.
Everyone called the DS a gimmick. Now it is dominating the field.
When I saw the Wii, I wasn't going to doubt Nintendo's direction.

Re:Surely it did (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011571)

No offense, but I saw the Wii coming. I underestimated the speed at which it caught on, but I knew that it would be the best console to own this generation.

You saw it coming before launch? Or you saw it for what it was once it was there to be seen? The latter isn't so tough, because half of the media was covering it like crazy and saying the exact same thing.

When it launched, I (and a whole bunch of other people) went "hmmm ... now that sounds fun". I certainly agree that Nintendo is doing an amazing job of identifying untapped markets. It's certainly the first real change in paradigm we've seen in gaming for quite a while.

I'm more saying that, from EA's stand-point, the new controller seemed to be a bit of a gimmick, and since it' didn't address their core market of hard-core gamers, they couldn't see how it would fit into their business. It was so outside of the box, they couldn't even see it for what it was; I think it totally blindsided the 'traditional' gaming companies (the same ones who have been producing games I can't play for the last bunch of years).

Me, I'm looking forward to what truly new things in gaming Nintendo is going to put out before long. I'm sure it'll be both interesting and fun.

Cheers

Re:Surely it did (1)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012135)

Before it was named the Wii.
I thought that the motion sensitive controller was a true innovation in the video game market and that Nintendo had the skills to do it justice. Based on their past successes with other such things.

I've basically learned that when everyone is mocking Nintendo for something to keep an eye on it because it will be huge.

Re:Surely it did (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012755)

Before it was named the Wii.
I thought that the motion sensitive controller was a true innovation in the video game market and that Nintendo had the skills to do it justice.

Wow. I'm impressed -- definitely way more tuned into the game market than most people.

If you could see this coming, I hope to hell you bought some shares. I'm sure you'd have turned a tidy profit :-P

Cheers

Re:Surely it did (1)

lmnfrs (829146) | more than 7 years ago | (#20014083)

Today the game industry is vastly different from what it was when any of us were kids just getting into games. Everything games in the main stream are designed for is completely different from the design goals we remember. I think anybody here will agree, or at least know exactly what I'm talking about.

The "Hardcore Audience" was created out of nothing by marketing groups, and has changed the way non-gamers and relative newcomers think of video games. I'm not saying they stink and I'm oldskewl l33t or anything; many of these games are very good. But having been into video games as long as I have, I recognize them as what has been popular and successful in recent years, nothing more.

Everything that was revealed about the Revolution (once they started giving away actual details, that is) struck me as a return to old, well defined values. There was no question in my mind that the system would do well. Of course I didn't know it would do this well, but I did think it would do well enough to invest in Nintendo.
[/IMHO]


And I also agree that this just shows how out of touch EA is with what makes a game a game. It was a good follow up laugh to the laugh I had when they said they wouldn't be supporting the Wii.

Re:Surely it did (1)

Suspended_Reality (927563) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012823)

Here's my blog prediction from September, 2005: Original Prediction [cv-industries.com] .

So I was a little off on the hype back then. Still, I was convinced enough to put my money where my mouth was. I went on to invest a fair chunk of my investment portfolio in them, and the rewards are paying off handsomely right now. Currently, Nintendo stock makes me more money than my job. And, at 27, this head start is lowering my retirement day every time it goes up. This is the next iPod (albeit, not with an 80% market share, but in terms of holiday shopping sprees).

Re:Surely it did (1)

blueboy31 (822804) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011681)

Do you own a Virtual Boy [wikipedia.org] too?

Re:Surely it did (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011707)

"No offense, but I saw the Wii coming."

Well.. you know the saying.. put enough monkeys in front of keyboards and you'll get Shakespeare..

The Wii is very gimmicky, and I feel as though the big reason it did well is because: A) It was billed out as a "next gen" console (even though it's not) and cost half what the competition is charging (because it's three year old tech.)

Just you watch. Give the market a couple years, and see where the Wii stands then.

Re:Surely it did (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011949)

It may be three year old tech but it does everything the other two do except HD video. nintendo proved that you don't need the latest and greatest in horsepower to play a game that you will enjoy and remember.

and the controller? well that's the latest in technology. MSFT and Sony completely missed the boat on INTERACTIVE games. Though i am still waiting for VR to come back. While the game play was slow on some of those it was cool. With the better hardware today it should be a lot more realistic.

Re:Surely it did (1)

mosch (204) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011997)

Give the market a couple years, and see where the Wii stands then.

The Wii will continue to have dominant market share, as it's particularly attractive to both older and younger game players.

Meanwhile, people who only play first person shooters will continue to believe that the Wii is merely "gimmicky", and that their console is better because it has more pixels.

Re:Surely it did (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013107)

Meanwhile, people who only play first person shooters will continue to believe that the Wii is merely "gimmicky", and that their console is better because it has more pixels.

which is a shame because you could make a REALLY cool FPS with the wii and that new gun accessory.

Re:Surely it did (1)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 7 years ago | (#20014437)

Unfortunately, this may be delayed a bit since Red Steel doesn't seem to have gotten the greatest reviews. (I haven't played it myself, though)

Re:Surely it did (1)

toolie (22684) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012207)

A) It was billed out as a "next gen" console (even though it's not)
What is your definition of next gen?

Re:Surely it did (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012373)

The Wii is gimmicky because of its controllers? Did you ever stop to think that maybe the simplified controls do actually appeal to alot of people? I had a ton of fun playing Zelda and RE4 with the Wiis controls. They are VERY intitutive and you no longer need to be a great button masher to play games. Blazing Angels is a whole new way to play a flight simulation game.

Why throw away $600 on a console? I could get better graphics out of my computer by upgrading than blowing that much on a console.

Re:Surely it did (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012753)

Isn't that the exact same argument that was used against the DS?

Re:Surely it did (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012911)

But to be fair, you're on Slashdot.

Nearly everybody on Slashdot thinks Nintendo is the greatest gaming company ever and can do no wrong. Haven't you ever seen the moderation around here? Haven't you noticed the off-topic Nintendo posts that show up in nearly every gaming topic modded to +5?

While it's great that you predicted the success, going by the predictions of the most hard-core fans of the technology isn't really the best way to do business. By that logic, every software company should invest in Amiga-- because I hear from the hard-core fans that Amiga's really awesome and due for a comeback!!

Re:Surely it did (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013071)

Amateur. I predicted EVERY past event in history! Totally saw it coming.

I'm not so good at predicting events before they happen tho :-/

Re:Surely it did (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013865)

No offense, but I saw the Wii coming. I underestimated the speed at which it caught on, but I knew that it would be the best console to own this generation.


Would you like a cookie? Everyone seems to think that picking the right console means they win. Seriously, what's with people's efforts to vindicate their choices after the fact? Shouldn't what matters now be whether you're satisfied with the kinds of experiences you get via the console?

I think the thing to learn here is that you shouldn't care about what other people think about your choices -- it's the only true geek way.

Re:Surely it did (1)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012271)

Parent essentially sums some up what I was going to say.

EA developed their understanding of the video game market and planned accordingly. They saw the rise of graphic dominance and hardcore gaming dominance. They may have tried to figure out how to pull in people who don't play video games but completely abandoned that approach. Given they frustration at pulling in non-gamers, I'm not surprised that they were caught off guard.

However, I think it was a failure on their part not to realize what was needed to capture the market share of non-gamers. Perhaps they might have sat down and realized that it was a hardware barrier and not completely a software barrier. And had they done so, there was no reason not to stand behind the Wii. A new controller style that non-gamers could relate to. A shift in gaming interaction. Getting in on the ground floor and staying ahead of the competition.

Could they have seen the Wii coming? Perhaps. As the parent says, no one really sees disruptive technologies coming unless you know the market. But even then, they may still backfire and end up unadopted. EA could have poured all this money into developing for the Wii and it could have flopped. I suppose they look stupid now but perhaps it made more sense then. Maybe they could have done some real options analysis or something similar to see value in developing for the Wii.

Re:Surely it did (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012519)

In fairness, I don't think anyone saw the Wii coming or could have planned on the fact that simpler game play, with less intense graphics, that actually involved moving around would have captivated so many people.
Really? I suppose you're referring mainly to game developers. Because I'm fairly sure a lot of us saw this coming when we first heard/read about the Wii.

Re:Surely it did (1, Redundant)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012795)

n fairness, I don't think anyone saw the Wii coming or could have planned on the fact that simpler game play, with less intense graphics, that actually involved moving around would have captivated so many people.
You're probably right when it comes to the game developers; however, as others have pointed out, there are a fair number of us did predict it would. You can check the dates on these, but here are a number of my own posts related to the subject:
1 [slashdot.org]
2 [slashdot.org]
3 [slashdot.org]
4 [slashdot.org]
5 [slashdot.org]
6 [slashdot.org]
7 [slashdot.org]
8 [slashdot.org]

I'm sure they go back well over a year. FYI - that was simply a google search for my slashdot name and "Wii". I didn't even both to search for the Wii's original name - Revolution - so there could be more out there.

Re:Surely it did (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012841)

In fairness, I don't think anyone saw the Wii coming or could have planned on the fact that simpler game play, with less intense graphics, that actually involved moving around would have captivated so many people

You mean nobody caught the clue train when it stopped by almost 2 years ago? [ign.com] Ever since they revealed the controller and the highly popular videos of people using it (not even any game footage!), I don't think anyone has had a doubt...

Re:Surely it did (4, Informative)

phantomlord (38815) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012943)

Here's a Slashdot Poll [slashdot.org] from March 2006.

22057 picked Sony to win by the end of this year
13559 picked Microsoft
9183 picked Nintendo

There were obviously a few of us who thought Nintendo was going to win. A fairly significant amount given the inertia Sony already had in the market at that point and the general attitude toward MS here. That's better than 20% of people picking Nintendo, not exactly an insignificant amount.

Re:Surely it did (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20011585)

As Stewart Brand put it:
"Once a new technology rolls over you, if your're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road."

Re:Surely it did (1)

seaturnip (1068078) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011625)

You have it exactly upside down. EA is too attached to their existing userbase, and failed to foresee the new, different users jumping in.

Re:Surely it did (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012639)

No actually I believe he has it right. EA is too attached to their own preconceptions of what their userbase wants, and too detached from the actual users to see what they really want. Take the BF series for instance. People that I know who have been avid BF2 and BF2142 players that managed to get in on the Quake Wars beta like it much better than BF. It's exactly what they wanted from BF that they didn't get - because EA is too detached from their actual users.

Re:Surely it did (4, Insightful)

jratcliffe (208809) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012815)

To be fair, it appears that the Wii success caught Nintendo off guard as well - while a designed shortage in the first couple of months to drum up attention might have been a good idea, it's very hard to believe that the current lack of availability is something that Nintendo planned, rather than a result of sales having outstripped Nintendo's forecasts (and hence manufacturing capability).

Re:Surely it did (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012847)

Just proves how far detached big game companies are from their userbase and how little do they understand entertainment.

Uh, huh?

Isn't the problem more along the lines of EA was focusing on their core userbase, and then Nintendo introduced a lot of new gamers who weren't part of their core userbase before? I think you have this exactly backwards... the Wii isn't successful because hard-core gamers are buying it (although they are), it's successful because it's selling to people who don't typically buy game consoles. And that's the market EA had nothing planned for.

Re:Surely it did (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013161)

A lot of Wii users never were in their userbase to begin with, so I hardly would call it 'detached'. Wii is catering to a new audience.

Understandable (4, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011131)

Considering the hype surrounding the PS3 and 360, it wasn't really stupid to back them or anything at the start. But the price annoucement changed everything, and they should have noticed that immediately. Instead, EA made the same mistake in judging the market that Sony did when they thought "well, PS2 dominated the market while pricier than the GCN, so at that rate people will gladly pay 2x as much for 100x the hardware." What they SHOULD have noticed is that people on the whole clearly don't care nearly as much about graphical firepower as other things, and the PS2 made that crystal clear!

EA had the luxury of changing teams while Sony had to figure out how to stick with theirs, and so far the haven't been able to do so.

Re:Understandable (1)

monk.e.boy (1077985) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011755)

The media tends to feed on its self, especially online gaming media types.

They constantly reference and quote one another in a fever pitched frenzy.

I guess EA read those and get bought expensive meals my Playstation and 360 sales people, and all the while IN REAL LIFE gamers chat and play each others consoles and choose what they like.

Whos going to tag this 'obvious' 'duh' etc...

monk.e.boy

Re:Understandable (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012265)

Considering the hype surrounding the PS3 and 360, it wasn't really stupid to back them or anything at the start. But the price annoucement changed everything, and they should have noticed that immediately. /quote>

Yup. The PS3 was met with genuine anticipation up until the price point was announced. The arrogance with which that was handled made people step back and say "wait a sec, is this a pending trainwreck?" That E3 show cemented that feeling. "Riiiiiiiidge Racer!"

The Wii was met with skepticism, mostly due to the silly name. But I think there's a key difference in the way the console launches were handled. Sony told you that you were wrong and needed to change your perspective, $600 is NOT too much to pay for a console. Nintendo, on the other hand, didn't set out to tell hardcore gamers they were wrong about needing the latest graphics and that they'd love the wiimote, they were more about approaching a target market that their research showed would be receptive to the product. They didn't say "Yo, non-gamers, you are now our bitches."

It just goes to show, give people what they want, they'll respond positively. Opening up a new market is the tough part since you first have to persuade people to give it a try. Shitty products have to take the marketing beyond "give it a try," to "You are going to like it because I need to make bonus, you cocksucker."

Re:Understandable (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012425)

Don't you get sick of copying and pasting this to every thread about the Wii?

Re:Understandable (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012919)

Nope it's an easy karma buffer :-P

On Simpson's Movie Opening Day... (2, Interesting)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011133)

EA exec says "D'oh!"

Seriously, even Nintendo didn't plan for the Wii's level of sell-through

Madden? (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011187)

EA had the second-largest market share on Wii as of March with 19 percent, thanks mainly to Tiger Woods PGA Tour.

How odd. I would have thought that Madden was the EA leading title. While the graphics aren't as nice as the 360 and PS3 versions, players often report how cool it is to play the game with actual football movements rather than overly complex controller commands. I know a lot of non-sports gamers actually picked up the game just for the innovative controls. (I have to admit that I was also tempted. But I'm too much of a miserly scrooge to spend the money. :P)

Then again, one of the things I really wanted when I got a Wii was a true Mario Golf type of game. Perhaps the serious golfers all played the Wii Sports version and fell in love with the idea? A relative of mine told his wife on no uncertain terms that they were getting a Wii, after he played a few holes on the Wii Sports Golf course. So I suppose it's possible that the Golfers like the idea even more than the football fans. (That's a shocking thought.)

Re:Madden? (1)

Drachemorder (549870) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011409)

Golf tends to lend itself to the Wii controller a bit more than football does, in my opinion. I'd also like to see a realistic baseball game for the Wii. Wii Sports baseball has an awesome pitcher-batter dynamic, but it doesn't have anything at all beyond that.

Re:Madden? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20011519)

Owning both Madden and Tiger Woods golf, I can tell you that Madden is FAR superior of a game as far as mechanics go.

The controls for Tiger Woods, while good, are just too touchy. Many game review sites have pointed out why this is, but basically, I find myself making many "half shots" where i end up stopping mid-swing and starting over.

I'd have to think that the reason MAaden isn't the leader is people waiting for the 08 version instead of buying the "old" 07 version.

Re:Madden? (1)

Drachemorder (549870) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012433)

I agree with that. That's what I'm doing. But then, aren't they coming out with another Tiger Woods soon as well?

Re:Mario golf type game (1)

El Gigante de Justic (994299) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011569)

While there isn't Mario Golf yet, check out Super Swing Golf. The mechanics in it are pretty good (although it takes a while to figure out exactly how they want you to swing the wii-mote), and it has the same sort of cartoony style that a Mario Golf game would have. I'm also an owner of Madden, and the controls are pretty cool. I'm tempted to get the 08 version when it comes out because they have apparantly cleaned up some of the problems from the 07 version, mainly that audibles are being made easier, and the only way to switch players on defense before the snap in 07 was to point and click, where as there is now a cycle button like the other versions.

Re:Madden? (2, Insightful)

bomanbot (980297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011621)

Well, I think the problem with Madden last year was that the Wii was just released for the holiday season, whereas Madden traditionally gets released in August or so (just before the start of the season). So I guess a lot of people who needed their Madden fix already had the game for a different platform and did not want to shell out money again for the Wii version (what is also a problem is that Madden on the Wii (AFAIK) does not have an online roster update function yet, so it came late to the party and is not even upgradable.

Lets see how Madden fares this year on the Wii. I think it will do very well, since last years version showed that the controls work surprisingly well and are a lot of fun (as you mentioned yourself) and this year the Wii version should be out simultaneously to the other platforms.

Re:Madden? (1)

WeeLad (588414) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013293)

I considered Madden when I bought the Wii, but I was guessing that EA just square-pegged it into the round hole of the Wii. (I don't care what innuendo is read into that). I try to NOT buy the same EA game (with new rosters) every year. So, I figured I had a version or two to let them acclamate to the Wii and figure out what they're doing. Now it seems like they're going to put forth a serious effort. If it reviews well enough, the next version of Madden may be a Wii purchase.


Re:Madden? (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011691)

I think part of it is that Nintendo has been selling many Wii's to the more "casual" gamer, and golf is certainly a more casual and relaxed game to play than football. Even if the motion controls have simplified Madden, the series of options that the game of football presents to someone who's functioning as both a coach and a player is quite complex and the timing and execution required to make it work takes a lot of practice to get comfortable with.

It may take a significant amount of time to get really good at Golf, but any ol' idiot can take an occasional swing and hit the ball in the general direction that they're aiming.

Basically, the initial learning curve for any halfway realistic football game is going to be a good bit steeper than for a realistic golf game. It's just the nature of the two sports. If Nintendo's really making this big push into new gamer territory, it's certainly easy to see how golf would appeal more to many of those players (especially since they already got a taste of it with WiiSports golf).

Re:Madden? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011767)

Then again, one of the things I really wanted when I got a Wii was a true Mario Golf type of game. Perhaps the serious golfers all played the Wii Sports version and fell in love with the idea?

Yup. The games in Wii sports are uncanny; at least to me.

Bowling, I can do in real life (sorta). The Wii version feels exactly like that. It's fun. I spend a fair amount of time playing this.

Golf, playing it feels like if I focus on my swing the same way I do in real life, I shoot better. It feels like practice. It's uncanny.

Baseball, I can't hit a ball in real life either, let alone hit a home run. Same thing with Wii Sports. ;-) This, I don't play at all.

The thing about a game which has made really good use of the Wii controller is, the game play feels natural. Contrast this with previous golf games where you aim, press A to start the swing, and press A at the bottom of the swing, and this is a HUGE improvement.

Having stood in front of a 43" projection TV playing golf on my Wii, I can vouch for the fact that it just feels 'right'. It really is an immersive experience, and lots of fun to boot.

Now, if I could only figure out the motion for the pool game in Wii Play, I could start playing Wii pool as well as I do in real life. :-P

Cheers

Re:Madden? (2, Interesting)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012387)

Of course, the nice thing about Madden is how quickly it depreciates. Just buy it in a year or two. I'm not much of a Madden fan, but it was hard to pass up when I saw Madden 2004 for my PS2 on sale for 83 cents. Yes, that was really the price!

You weren't the only one, EA... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20011265)

Let's have a show of hands here. How many people, prior to E3 2006, actually thought that Nintendo would be able to reverse their fortunes so spectacularly? How many times did everyone hear people talking about "PS2 and XBox" or "Sony and Microsoft" when talking about the new generation of consoles? It was clear that Nintendo was going for broke when they unveiled their control scheme, but I think it was simply impossible at that point to foresee a turnabout of this magnitude. Considering how risk averse developers are these days, it's hardly surprising that many of them elected to overlook the Wii in the beginning.

Re:You weren't the only one, EA... (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011555)

Before E3 06? Dunno, I'm sure we were expecting a solid console, but then we were also expecting the PS3 to be a freakin monster. The thing is, even AFTER E3 '06, analysts and industry leaders were still backing PS3 as #1 and Xbox as #2.

The lines at E3 '06 should have been a clue to even analysts that their previous thoughts on the PS3 might be shaky. The problem is, everyone in the industry was gauging the success of the new consoles on past history and no one gave even passing acknowledgement to the excitement in the Ninty fanbase. Basically, the people that saw the Wii's success were the people that play games. Those that felt the PS3 would win were those that analyze and make games. ...sorta like Jon Stewart's summary of Ted Stevens: "You know jack shit about the internet, but that's ok; you're just in charge of regulating it."

Re:You weren't the only one, EA... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011719)

The thing is, even AFTER E3 '06, analysts and industry leaders were still backing PS3 as #1 and Xbox as #2. The problem is, everyone in the industry was gauging the success of the new consoles on past history and no one gave even passing acknowledgement to the excitement in the Ninty fanbase.

This guy [gametunnel.com] pegged it. (See the section titled "Generation 6") Amazingly enough, he did it by following the trends of the past. The exact thing that the press didn't do. The press foolishly followed the "Playstation will always dominate" line of thinking, which is not much of an economic prediction.

Re:You weren't the only one, EA... (1)

ArmyOfFun (652320) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012569)

That article is an interesting analysis. It does show that sales leaders don't stay that way for very long in the game market. So, there was a greater chance for a Sony downfall than a less historical analysis may have predicted (or at least one more heavily weighted on the recent past).

Yet, the trends didn't necessarily point out just who would replace Sony (if anyone). In fact, ignoring the criteria Carroll focused on (first to market, graphics capability), you'll notice Nintendo's market share decreasing at a rate greater than Sega ever experienced. In fact, there's no historical trend for any player to significantly increase their market share in successive generations (with the sole exception of Sega's move from the Master System to the Genesis). If anything, the trends pointed to the Wii doing about as well as the Dreamcast.

Another interesting thing in this generation, is it's the first since the SNES generation with only 3 major consoles competing and the first generation ever that has no new companies entering the market. All previous leader changes came from players new to the home console market (Atari-Nintendo-Sony). In this generation, the players are all established. Perhaps with Nintendo's radically different approach, they're playing the role of the newcomer.

In the end, I don't think the best bet was for the Wii to come out on top, even if that's what happens. What's becoming more clear is, at least from a historical perspective, betting the PS3 would dominate was a bad bet. It already lost market share from the PS1-PS2 switch, PS3 was the most expensive and it has the counter-intuitive disadvantage of having the most graphically capable hardware.

Re:You weren't the only one, EA... (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012739)

Yet, the trends didn't necessarily point out just who would replace Sony (if anyone).

The trends clearly showed that the PS3 and XBox 360 were too technologically advanced to be the winners of this generation. That left Nintendo and a possible newcomer. Since no newcomer arrived, Nintendo got to take the crown.

It's an interesting thought experiment to think what might have happened if, say, Sega introduced a new console with a competitive price but more traditional controls. Would the Wii still be selling like hotcakes, or would it be playing a more modest role in the market?

The stiffest competition in history was between the Genesis and SNES. The two were similar enough technologically that their respective superiorities didn't much matter. They were both affordable consoles with strong game libraries. I have a sneaky suspicion that if such a competitor were available, Nintendo's magic Wii Remote would not have been as successful of a draw as it ended up being.

Re:You weren't the only one, EA... (1)

Steve525 (236741) | more than 7 years ago | (#20014249)

Interesting analysis, but I'm going to disagree. I'm not sure a less expensive new console (essentially a Wii without the fancy controller) would have much of a draw. You might as well just buy a PS2 (which would have worse graphics, but has more games available).

Most people buy systems to play games. It's hard to predict how your imaginary console would fare, without the imaginary games to go with it. My prediction is that such a system would generate little interest from the 3rd party developers, and therefore have few interesting games and flop. The Wii is doing well despite being initially ignored by the 3rd party developers, because the controller is so innovative. It also is important that Nintendo is a big enough software house to keep it alive (although not necessarily wildly successful) until the other development houses catch on.

It's interesting that you bring up Sega, since the Dreamcast is close to being a good example of what you suggest. It was cheaper and less powerful than the PS2, but it got killed by the PS2. Sega was able to produce some good games for it, but many people figured all their favorite games (or at least sequels to them) were coming out on the PS2, so they waited to buy it instead.

If there were no Wii, I think we'd see a slow migration over to the new generation as the prices come down and more games are released. It would be hard to predict a winner between the PS3 and Xbox360 - a single blockbuster (like GTAIII) could completely swing things to one or the other. I think the PS3 would be the most likely to win because of better support and sales in Japan. Without the innovative controller, Nintendo would simply have another game console that sells in somewhat small numbers to people who want to play Nintendo games. (Not that there's anything wrong with that if Nintendo is making money). Any other companies entering the fray (without Microsoft's deep pockets) would get slaughtered.

Re:You weren't the only one, EA... (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013803)

I've been arguing that the Wii would be more successful since it was called the Revolution...

Caught in ice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20011283)

remembered as a primitive electronic art form surprised by the unexpected innovation season

I was suprised by this!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20011369)

Get her to add you as a friend.....you get to see milfy bewbs!!!!

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=us [myspace.com] er.viewprofile&friendID=108370887 [myspace.com]

It worked for me, Donny Most!@!!!~`~!
[ Reply to This ]

EA Caught with their pants down... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20011611)

EA Caught with their pants down and no wii in sight. It was a sorry sight indeed.

Wouldnt a better headline be... (1)

bomanbot (980297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20011661)

EA - Wii got caught by surprise? ;-)

Re:Wouldnt a better headline be... (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013203)

EA - Wii got caught by surprise? ;-)

Yeah, they really got caught with their pants down on this one.

ouch! (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012103)

I suppose that's better than catching their wii by surprise.

"The exec" is fucking retarded. (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012409)

The exec as much as admitted that they 'bet on the wrong horse' by focusing on the PS3 and 360 during the console transistion

No, he bet on the wrong horse by trying to use a business model for razors to run a games company. Gamers have voted with their money now that they have a choice - they choose not to have identical shitty games shoved at them every 12.0 months.

Hopefully EA will be gone for good when the next gen comes around.

Re:"The exec" is fucking retarded. (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013043)

Hopefully EA will be gone for good when the next gen comes around.
While I share your sentiment, I'm highly doubtful that will happen. They're already second in sales percentage on the most popular system, and that while they're still trying to switch over to developing for that system. Nope, I don't think EA is going anywhere.

Re:"The exec" is fucking retarded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20013277)

Gamers have voted with their money now that they have a choice - they choose not to have identical shitty games shoved at them every 12.0 months.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the marketplace says otherwise. You may be shocked to discover that the vast majority of this country does not think exactly like you do.

Re:"The exec" is fucking retarded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20014077)

I used to work for EA at the Exec level and Riccotello is a moron. He blazed thru 360 million with EA.com...killed UO2..(way to go John!!! Can you say WOW??) and is the most smug, "sweater over the shoulder dolt" you have ever met.

caught mii by surprise, too. (1)

tiedyejeremy (559815) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012653)

I rallied against my kids getting a new game system. Then I saw the Wii on the release date at a local mall and went on the hunt. I bought it for myself, disguised as a Christmas gift for the kids. Honestly, it was the pure lack of same old games that drew me in. Now, I'm looking forward to what EA might do with the Wii, and think this slow adoption might be good for both companies.

Riiiiighttttt! (0, Troll)

realsilly (186931) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012665)

Fuba!
Fuba!
Fuba!

Ding!

What'a a Wii?

Everyone was blindsided (3, Insightful)

Graftweed (742763) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012691)

I'm trying really hard to think of a studio that accurately predicted the Wii's success and oriented themselves accordingly, it wasn't just EA. Proof of this is that after all this time after the launch there are still very few truly stellar games for the system apart from Nintendo's titles.

Instead they're all running around in a panic and screaming: "Titles for the Wii are coming, don't worry!". The problem is that this is a re-deployment of resources brought upon by the unexpected market share of a system, instead of that system's uniques features. Or in other words, it was a bean counter along the corporate hierarchy who said "Holy cow, this is thing is selling like hot cakes, we need games out NOW" instead of some developer taking a look at the cool new control system and saying "You know, I could really do something amazing with this" and proceeding to annoy bean counters to realize his idea.

The end result is that this first flood of titles is crap, taking very little advantage of the Wii's control system. Things will get worse before they get better, as was the case with the DS's early life cycle.

Re:Everyone was blindsided (3, Informative)

johnsmith_12345 (921258) | more than 7 years ago | (#20014033)

Aside from Nintendo, Ubisoft was the only company to really push for the Wii at the beginning. They had Rayman, Red Steel, and some others I cant think of now.

Suprise! Wii (1)

theatrecade (1080063) | more than 7 years ago | (#20012831)

When i worked for a major entertainment distributor (blockbuster) i was singing the praises of the Wii the moment i saw the controller. i realized how important this milestone would be. I would talk to the HCG and they would say " but will i have the graphic power". then i remind them the DS is kicking the pants off of the PSP.

Anyone try Nascar 08? It's a joke. (1)

snsr (917423) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013267)

EA doesn't have their sh*t together on the 360 or PS3, either. Nascar 08 is a joke- I deleted the demo after less than a lap. It looks, sounds, and plays like it's five years old. The last EA release I bought was Sim City 4, and it's looking like they're going to dumb that franchise down, too.

Really Old News (1)

sysadmintech (704387) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013335)

When Nintendo announced at 2004 E3 the "Revolution", EA was right by their side giving full support. Each Christmas and tradeshow since EA has said that they were fully behind the Wii. I count at least a dozen times EA has announced they are fully behind the Wii.
Spike (Drangonball Z Bug Island), Square Enix (Dragon Quest, FF, Sponge Bob), Konami
(Elebits, Wing Island, Winning 11, DDR, Dewy), Hudson (Mario Party, Bomberman, Pilot Wings), Ubisoft (Rayman Raving Rabbits, Red Steel, Far Cry) , Ntreev (Pangya), Sega (Super Monkey Ball, Bleach, Ghost squad, Golden Compass, Mario Olympics, Puyo, Sonic, Alien Syndrome) ... there are hundreds of 3rd party developers, many small developing titles EA would never touch.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wii_games [wikipedia.org]
Comparing the 3 consoles titles, the other 2 are creating sequels of previous products much more often than Nintendo. The other 2 dislike retailers having the multi-console titles (i.e. Tiger Woods, Madden) running next to each other because they look and run exactly alike.

NHL Hockey on the Wii? :( (2, Insightful)

markh100 (696858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013425)

Can someone tell where my NHL 2008 on the Wii is? The controlling scheme would be so simple - Use the analog stick on the nunchuck to move, like every other NHL game. Configure the game so it knows whether you are left or right handed. Hold the wiimote and nunchuck in parallel, as if you were holding a hockey stick. Move the hockey stick around to stick handle. To help the Wii system understand what you're trying to do with the puck, hold down B to shoot and Z to pass. A quick flick of the wrists for a wrister, and a windup for a slapshot. It seems so obvious to me that this would be a killer game on the Wii. I almost want to get my hands on the Wii developer kit just so I can build a prototype of the controlling scheme to get EA Sports on the right track.

Right now, I'm stuck playing Nintendo Ice Hockey [wikipedia.org] (circa 1988), and it just isn't cutting it. I've considered ponying up a few dollars for a couple Gamecube controllers and NHL 2006, but I can't say I'm that excited about the idea, since I already have NHL 07 on the PC.

Re:NHL Hockey on the Wii? :( (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013767)

I love that old school nintendo hockey game. I played the crap out of it. Also there was a code(it may have been with the game genie?) that made the ice frictionless, so you could just take a huge slapshot and the puck would bounce all over the place until it went into a goal. Awesome.

Re:NHL Hockey on the Wii? :( (2, Informative)

markh100 (696858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20014307)

Thanks for the heads up on the hint codes.

No Goalies - At The Start Screen: Hold A and B on Both Controllers and then Start on the first controller

Non-Stop Puck and No goalies! - On he title screen hold down the A and B buttons on controllers 1 and 2, then press start on controller 1, now you'll have a puck that never stops moving, and no goalies at the nets.

Source: Gamespot [gamespot.com]

Caught the fanboys, too (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 7 years ago | (#20013913)

Seriously, I consider myself to be perhaps more than a small bit of a Nintendo fanboy. I used to defend the N64 and the Gamecube against naysayers saying nay. Even I was cynical that Wii would get anywhere.

I can't blame EA for this. Less bizzare concepts than this have tanked in the past.
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