#1 Edited by isomeri (1415 posts) -

Just a while ago we heard that the next installment of Madden wouldn't be coming out on the Wii U. Well, the reason for this seems to be that EA has been unable to get the Frostbite 3 engine to run on the system. Most of EA's upcoming games (around 15 according to Engadget) are built on the engine and none of these will be coming out on the Wii U. The games include the next installments of Battlefield, Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

Reggie might need a big hug right about now.

#2 Posted by Marcsman (3286 posts) -

I wonder how hard EA really tried.

#3 Posted by budgietheii (186 posts) -

Someone's really pissed in EAs tea. If they are not confident in the WiiU at the moment then fair enough but this is sounding like a complete abandonment of the platform less than a year into release. Unable to get Frostbite working on it is a bull excuse when these games are doubtlessly appearing on the current gen consoles this year.

#4 Edited by TruthTellah (9472 posts) -

To be specific, they ran Frostbite 2 engine tests on the Wii U and they apparently didn't perform well enough. Thus, they don't think Frostbite 3 would run well at all on the Wii U. Trying to release Frostbite 3 games on the Wii U would just mean severely inferior versions of the games with performance issues. Which doesn't at all sound appealing for anyone.

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#5 Posted by isomeri (1415 posts) -

To be specific, they ran Frostbite 2 engine tests on the Wii U and they apparently didn't perform well enough. Thus, they don't think Frostbite 3 would run well at all on the Wii U. Trying to release Frostbite 3 games on the Wii U would just mean severely inferior versions of the games with performance issues. Which doesn't at all sound appealing for anyone.

Yes. The word from the technical director of Frostbite at DICE is that "FB3 has never been running on WiiU. We did some tests with not too promising results with FB2 & chose not to go down that path"

Sounds like someone at DICE/EA made a business decision based on the cost of successfully porting Frostbite on the Wii U, versus anticipated sales on the platform.

#6 Posted by DeF (4977 posts) -

@isomeri: First off, we've known that for quite some time now (around the BF4 reveal is when they said that first) and secondly, Frostbite 3 doesn't run on the system because they didn't even bother trying.

To be specific, they ran Frostbite 2 engine tests on the Wii U and they apparently didn't perform well enough. Thus, they don't think Frostbite 3 would run well at all on the Wii U. Trying to release Frostbite 3 games on the Wii U would just mean severely inferior versions of the games with performance issues. Which doesn't at all sound appealing for anyone.

That's pure speculation, though. Throwing a 360/PS3-engine on a system with completely different architecture and different strengths, probably with not-final devkits is a really silly way of determining the viability of the next iteration of that engine which has to be adapted for system with similar architecture anyway. The suits at EA just don't care to dedicated resources to it because of whatever business thing went sour between Big N and EA. Of course this nicely fits into the WiiU=weaksauce narrative that the press and select devs evaluating last gen ports with early devkits have been spinning over the last 1-2 years now. This would not be an issue if the publishers cared to allocate resources to the platform but they like their safe bets and stick to outdated notions about the audience for their games not existing outside of those ecosystems (which is completely insane).

At this point it's clear that there has been a falling out between suits at Nintendo and EA which results in the situation we have now, not hardware that is supposedly not capable of running anything other than calculators if you believe the internet.

#7 Posted by JouselDelka (966 posts) -

Nintendo needs to lay down and die already! That old man needs a rest.

#8 Edited by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

No Star Wars games on the Wii U....:P

After mentioning on Twitter that the newly announced Star Wars games from DICE and Visceral will be running on DICE's powerful Frostbite 3 engine, Andersson responded to a reader concern that this will mean the games will not be available for the Wii U.

"[Frostbite 3] has never been running on WiiU," Andersson tweeted. "We did some tests with not too promising results with [Frostbite 2] & chose not to go down that path."

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/05/dice-battlefield-4-engine-wont-run-on-the-wii-u/

#9 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

Are people who are buying Madden, Mass Effect, And Battlefield really going to buy the Wii U version?

#10 Edited by EXTomar (4943 posts) -

One of the things I respect EA for doing is at least trying to striving for cross-platform parity. Ultimately I wonder how much of a fool's errand this was since the Wii U has little or no cross-platform functionality outside of the core feature "it plays games".

I don't think this is a "Wii U sucks!" moment as much as a mishandling the Wii U in general. It should be treated as a special platform like Facebook where great to do games on but only on that system. I can see how a special version of The Sims could work great on the platform but it is not going to look or behave like any other version nor should they even bother trying.

#11 Edited by Nivash (241 posts) -

I've seen some speculation (namely on NeoGAF, make of that what you will) that it might be the processor that's not up to snuff. Supposedly, the Wii U runs a somewhat weaker processor than the PS360 but makes up for it with a somewhat more powerful GPU. Unfortunately the Frostbite engine is notoriously processor-heavy which could be a bottle neck.

Even so I don't think it would be completely absolutely impossible to run Frostbite on Wii U, it's more that it's just not worth the effort. Sounds like they tried to run a minimum effort port, it didn't work well, the economic aspect didn't support a more expensive solution, so no DICE (pun intended) I can see why too - according to VGChartz, Black Ops II sold 22 000 000 copies on the PS360 vs a pitiful 180 000 copies on Wii U. Even the PC outsold it by a factor larger than four. If EA has to make any larger kind of effort to get it to run, they could well end up losing money on an attempted Wii U launch, even if that effort carries over into more titles than Battlefield 4.

#12 Edited by isomeri (1415 posts) -

I don't feel like making a new thread for this. But yeah, don't keep your hopes up for any Wii U games from Avalanche either. Apparently they have also done the math and have decided not to develop for the platform because of the small install base.

#13 Edited by MideonNViscera (2252 posts) -

@dagbiker said:

Are people who are buying Madden, Mass Effect, And Battlefield really going to buy the Wii U version?

I think Nintendo was hoping they would. Remember, the WiiU has something to offer (every)one!

#14 Posted by Dallas_Raines (2221 posts) -

If those games are next-gen, then logically they wouldn't work on the Wii-U.

#15 Posted by Baillie (4282 posts) -

The Wii-U is dumb and if you bought you should feel dumb.

#16 Posted by Snail (8661 posts) -
@isomeri said:

The games include the next installments of Battlefield, Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

Reggie might need a big hug right about now.

What. Why? Did Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops, Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops 2, or any of the Mass Effect, or any of the Dragon Age games come out on the Wii?

This sort of argument makes no sense. Were you here last gen? This is business as usual for a Nintendo console since the Wii (or even earlier you might argue). They don't directly compete against Sony and Microsoft.

#17 Edited by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

Fuck EA, all I need is my Pikmin 3 and I need it now!

#18 Edited by Haziqonfire (227 posts) -

That's unfortunate. Apparently UE4 can be scaled to Wii U and Cryengine 3 works as well since Shadows of the Eternals is coming to the Wii U. Maybe they should've tried harder? Even Watch_Dogs is coming to the Wii U. So, I don't buy this.

#19 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4488 posts) -

Not sure why people are giving EA shit for this. It's hard to put in extra effort into a platform with a pretty shit install base.

#20 Edited by casper_ (908 posts) -

i don't know man... patrick said something on the bombcast about the wii u's future being not so grim seeing as how big nintendo franchises are gonna be coming out relatively soon but i don't think even first party nintendo games are gonna save this sinking ship.

#21 Edited by Haziqonfire (227 posts) -

Not sure why people are giving EA shit for this. It's hard to put in extra effort into a platform with a pretty shit install base.

Seems like it'd be easier now to downport to the Wii U than it was to downport to Wii. It's not like the developers are going from an HD console to a SD console. Though, I do agree that the install base probably has to do a lot with it ... but that being said, they're banking on the PS4/New Xbox having a large install base from the get go as well.

#22 Posted by Veektarius (5019 posts) -

I think that people need to also look at how risk-averse EA is likely to be after their recent track record. If it requires substantial $s to make games work on the Wii U, it's going to be pretty hard to see a positive return on them. Especially since even with that low install base, the rate at which it serves as a household's primary console is even lower.

#23 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4488 posts) -

@haziqonfire said:

@colourful_hippie said:

Not sure why people are giving EA shit for this. It's hard to put in extra effort into a platform with a pretty shit install base.

Seems like it'd be easier now to downport to the Wii U than it was to downport to Wii. It's not like the developers are going from an HD console to a SD console. Though, I do agree that the install base probably has to do a lot with it ... but that being said, they're banking on the PS4/New Xbox having a large install base from the get go as well.

How would it be easier to downport to it? The system has a unique architecture that requires them to put more resources into optimizing their tech for the platform. It doesn't matter that the tech in the Wii U is inferior to new consoles when it can be easier/more cost effective to put resources into optimizing tech for two next gen systems that are based on a PC architecture and don't differ that much between the two.

Edit: Oh in comparison to the Wii then yeah it would probably be easier (not entirely sure) but that doesn't make much of a difference in the long run.

#24 Posted by Haziqonfire (227 posts) -

How would it be easier to downport to it? The system has a unique architecture that requires them to put more resources into optimizing their tech for the platform. It doesn't matter that the tech in the Wii U is inferior to new consoles when it can be easier/more cost effective to put resources into optimizing tech for two next gen systems that are based on a PC architecture and don't differ that much between the two.

Edit: Oh in comparison to the Wii then yeah it would probably be easier (not entirely sure) but that doesn't make much of a difference in the long run.

As far as I remember, the Wii U's architecture was suppose to be similar to that of the 360's. So, while it is new architecture that a developer has to get comfortable with, I don't think that it's entirely a technical limitation as the DICE employee is making it out to be. Developers have been working with PS3/360 hardware for over 8 years at this point, so they're far more comfortable with those platforms than they would be with the Wii U. Regardless of how similar it is to previous consoles, it'll still pose some challenges.

That being said, I really think it is a mix of the console's install base, the extra effort to optimize the engine on the Wii U and EA's strategy to focus on the new platforms instead. It's a tough situation, but I'm certain that EA could very well optimize the engine for Wii U, but it's probably something they feel is better to just simply avoid for now. However, from the outside looking in when you see Battlefield 4 coming to PS3/360 but not the Wii U, it is sort of baffling. Especially considering EA's presence at Nintendo's E3 conference a few years ago.

TL;DR version: EA likely doesn't want to port the engine over due to install base and what not, but I don't think it's a technical limitation, as the architecture is similar to that of the 360's, which is still getting downports of games like Battlefield 4.

#25 Edited by myketuna (1756 posts) -

Well, since they're dropping one platform this upcoming gen, why not put shit on the PC? I'm hoping for a future PC version of the next Fight Night game. Since the next gen (at least the PS4 from what we know) seems to be similar tech-wise to the PC, it shouldn't be that hard, right? Right?

Then again, it'll be on Origin. Shit. Forgot about that part. You know what? I don't know if I want it now.

#26 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4488 posts) -

@haziqonfire: I don't think it's a technical limitation either. It may not run as well as new consoles but I bet it could hit the acceptable performance mark if they really wanted it to but like you said that takes extra effort and as of right now that investment makes little sense.

#27 Edited by Brendan (8136 posts) -

I wouldn't put EA games on the Wii U either. Spend more resources where they're more likely to make more money per employee. That translates into higher job security for employees, and a more secure future for the company. After recent troubled investments its not like they're some untouchable juggernaut with infinite resources

#28 Posted by laserbolts (5365 posts) -

@dagbiker said:

Are people who are buying Madden, Mass Effect, And Battlefield really going to buy the Wii U version?

Maybe people that have the WiiU and no other options. The WiiU's main draw will be its first party stuff but i'm worried that it may not be enough.

#29 Posted by RazielCuts (2987 posts) -

If those games are next-gen, then logically they wouldn't work on the Wii-U.

Boom!

I don't get why people are surprised by this, it's like these people didn't just experience the Wii (and every NIntendo console ever since the SNES) with its lack of third party support. It'll be the box you play Nintendo games on, like its always been.

#30 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (3779 posts) -

They should make a Wii U 2.

#31 Posted by Jams (2966 posts) -

@dallas_raines said:

If those games are next-gen, then logically they wouldn't work on the Wii-U.

Boom!

I don't get why people are surprised by this, it's like these people didn't just experience the Wii (and every NIntendo console ever since the SNES) with its lack of third party support. It'll be the box you play Nintendo games on, like its always been.

Nintendo hasn't really had good 3rd party support since the SNES. At least that's what it seems like to me.