RUMOR: EA lobbying to power Wii U's online platform?

Riccitiello & co. pushing for exclusive Wii U digi-distribution, says source

An anonymous source claiming to be placed within EA says the company is lobbying hard to make its Origin digital-distribution platform a key component of the Wii U's online experience, reports Wii U Go. We're just going to leave you to take the matter with as many grains of salt as you see fit – though stranger things have happened.

Above: EA head John Riccitiello has been a confirmed Wii U fan since about 5 minutes after the console's announcement

EA is “aggressively persuading Nintendo to go Origin-exclusive with Wii U’s online [strategy],” according to the source. This would give EA a great deal of control, both technical and financial, over how games and DLC on the console make it from developers to players.

While EA is known to be working with Nintendo on developing the console's online platform, such a deal would represent a sizable chunk of market-share wrested away from Origin's competitors, notably Steam. Nintendo would then gain an aggressive ally in the battle to make that share as sizeable as possible. Nintendo, says the source, feels that “only a massive western company such as EA understands what is needed to make an online service attractive to western gamers.”

Nintendo has been open with its ambitions for network play in the next generation, with Shigeru Miyamoto stating that online domination isn't in the company's gameplan. Both Miyamoto and Reggie Fils-Aime have also promised that online play will still be a major component of the Wii U's strategy, though, with Reggie encouraging “the best and the brightest of the third party publishers” to drive the console's online strategy. While EA has always been optimistic about the Wii U's potential, the idea that the company would campaign for this deep an integration with the console's future is one that requires more than an anonymous source to give it credence. What would you think of such a deal?

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