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Riccitiello: Wii To Get 'Half Our Emphasis'
Riccitiello: Wii To Get 'Half Our Emphasis' Exclusive
February 4, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

February 4, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC, Exclusive

As Electronic Arts reported greatly-widened losses in its fiscal third quarter, CEO John Riccitiello said that in addition to getting its operating expenses way down, the publisher needs to do better on the Wii in order to make a rebound.

EA's goal, he said on the company's call to investors, is to "rival Nintendo on their own platform" and "get noticed [on Wii] in ways that no other third party will."

In addition to focusing EA Sports heavily on the Wii with a new tennis franchise, the publisher plans on "taking advantage of... fascination with fitness" through EA Sports Active.

But Riccitiello also said EA would also be bringing "core intellectual property" such as Dead Space to Wii, in editions custom-designed for the strengths of the platform.

Riccitiello also described how the EA thinks of the industry in terms of three "buckets" (excluding EA's mobile and Pogo businesses): Online games, Wii games, and Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games. The EA CEO says he places the Xbox 360 and the PS3 in the same "bucket" because "the lion's share of titles developed for those platforms are common."

"We're proud to have great marketing partnerships around key exclusives, but in general, think of us as having those three buckets," he says.

And as the market leader, the Wii will receive as much focus from EA now as both the next-gen systems together. "Nintendo is the leader; they're getting half our emphasis in terms of title counts," said Riccitiello.

"You live, you learn you adjust and improve," he added, explaining why the company's Wii initiatives would be more successful in the coming year than in the previous year. "This year's title slate is a significant improvement from last year."

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Chris Melby
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The announcement today about Dead Space coming to the Wii made me happy. I loved this game on my PC and I know that if EA doesn't take a low-budget rushed route with it, it can be every bit as good.

I'll be buying this game day one and I also hope that Dead Space 2 will be available for my PC when it's also released for the PS360.

Mario N
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Hopefully this brings the quality of Wii games up, rather than bring down the quality of EA games (wipe that snarky comment from your mind!)

Brian Bartram
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The question is, do the majority of Wii owners actually consume games the same way hardcore 360/PS3 owners do? Seems to me that many people who purchased a Wii buy maybe a few titles a year - they're still playing Wii Sports and probably bought one or two titles since.

Compare this to 360/PS3 owners who consume quadruple that in the same amount of time.

Seems like getting Wii owners to purchase games with the voracity that we expect from hardcore players might be akin to trying to get blood from a stone. Just because the console sells like hotcakes doesn't mean the software will. The PSP sells considerably more consoles than games, so this wouldn't be a first in the game industry.

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There is only THREE kind of sucessful game on wii

1) Nintendo game

2) Party game

3) Horror game

WAIT what's with this last third thrend? there are all hardcore games that SELLS! And there are not dumb down next gen port (until dead space?)...

Aaron Knafla
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@Brian Bartram

The Wii has an attach rate of 6 pieces of software per console. Xbox 360 has 8. PS3 has 6.

My source is this website.

You just told me that owners of the PS3 are playing games at FOUR TIMES the rate of Wii owners!... Are they renting the games or something?... The numbers don't support your idea. That isn't happening.

On the Xbox 360, two more pieces of software still doesn't back your argument. Clearly, Xbox 360 gamers are buying games for their systems faster. But, I don't see FOUR TIMES the consumption. You say 400% and the numbers say 25%. Big difference.

Wii sales per unit = PS3 sales per unit

Wii sales per unit = 3/4 * Xbox 360 sales per unit

Considering the lack of support the Wii has gotten from 3rd parties this far, it's too early to really understand what kind of sales can be found on the platform right now.

Anyhow, read the article a few times and take notice of the attach rate. Nintendo's struggles with selling software have been greatly exaggerated.

EA knows there is a huge installed base out there. There is money to be made.

Time to kick the elitist geeky attitudes. Wii software sales are a sleeping giant.