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

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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10 comments

  • D0CCON - November 15, 2011 4:02 p.m.

    Sadly, I'd actually prefer EA do it. Nintendo's head is still way up its own ass with online stuff. The 3DS shows they are getting better, but it's still years behind where it ought to be.
  • Nap1400 - November 15, 2011 11:43 a.m.

    Uh, guys? There's a vital point in the article you missed. VALVe is also apparently trying to get Steam on the WiiU as well, meaning there might be some good news if that's true. PRESS FORWARD VALVE!!! DON'T LET EA PUSH YOU AROUND!!!
  • D0CCON - November 15, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    The only time it mentioned Steam in the article is when it said doing this would help EA fight Steam, not that Steam wanted it.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - November 15, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    The Origin service itself might be a bit shit, but this is HUGE for Nintendo. The mere fact that EA is putting so much faith in the Wii U that they're offering to back the bulk of the system's online service. Whether Ninty should take the offer or not is another question entirely (and seeing where Origin is now, it's a hard sell), but if EA's going to support the system this much, imagine how much support the other publishers would give them. Nintendo could have serious third party support for once. Also, Steam was new and shitty at one point too. You know why Steam is good now? It's because it's older and they know what works and what doesn't. Give Origin a break.
  • azureguy - November 15, 2011 2:09 a.m.

    EA is insane. Maybe if Origin were no data-stealing trojan, I would consider giving it a chance. But right now the program is a mess and it is only used at all because of Battlefield 3 and Knights of the Old Republic. Even if the Wii U would become a niche product, Nintendo would never consider it if they read any news at all.
  • ClusterShart - November 14, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    Why would you do that Nintendo. Valve is right over there, with everything EA has, but better in every way.
  • Jacko415 - November 14, 2011 9:07 p.m.

    WOW. Stop shoving your sh1tty download service down our throats!
  • Corn - November 14, 2011 8:22 p.m.

    I really hope this happens. Any centralized online mode is better than that "3rd parties can do what they want" approach that was being hinted at around WiiU's reveal, and any 3rd party is better at supplying a centralized online mode than Nintendo.
  • Linktoreality - November 14, 2011 7:08 p.m.

    Uggh... while this wouldn't be a game breaker, it'd be damn-near it... Nintendo, listen to your die-hard fans- Don't do it!
  • flabslapper - November 14, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    I didn't think it was possible to make entire coffin out of nails...but here we are

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