John Riccitiello wants Nintendo to release more first-party titles to spur interest in the platform.
Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello discussed the company's low Wii sales in an investor conference call last night. He noted that he was frustrated with the poor performance of EA software on the platform, despite what he considers to be the best third-party lineup on the console.
Riccitiello described the Wii market overall to be "weaker than….anticipated," which made it especially frustrating since EA has what is, in his opinion, "the strongest third-party share" of any company creating games for the platform.
He cited that his products are the most highly-rated and highest revenue-producing of any third-party Wii publisher, yet they are still not performing at a desired level.
He placed part of the blame on Nintendo themselves. He noted that Nintendo's lack of major first-party releases throughout the year have failed to generate sustained interest in the Wii platform, and that Nintendo needs to increase its partnering with third parties at retail and push third-party software harder in general.
He particularly lamented the struggles of multiplatform Wii titles, commenting that "the opportunity exists to find different ways to partner with first party in this case to sort of help establish in the minds of the consumer legitimacy of some of these other brands when they are going out multiplatform because very, very few multiplatform titles are succeeding on the Wii."
He also considers Asian markets a lost cause for Western third parties, estimating that of the console's 50 million plus userbase, 10 million (i.e. Japan and the rest of Asia) are virtually unreachable. Riccitiello was very frank in this regard, stating "I don’t think any of the Western companies are likely to participate much at all on the Wii platform in Japan, so the addressable market we see is just a little bit below 40 million."
He did, however, reiterate that he considered this to still be "an important opportunity".