Criterion co-founder outlines issues with Need For Speed Wii U release

Saturday, 8th March 2014 15:18 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

The new studio formed by Criterion Games co-founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry, Three Fields Entertainment, will release games on platforms which will allow the company to self-publish, according to Ward, who also said it’s unlikely Wii U will be one of those systems.


Speaking in a rather heated, but enlightening conversation on Twitter, Ward alluded that complications with Need for Speed: Most Wanted on Wii U left a lasting, a seemingly, negative impression on him.

When Ward stated Three Fields Entertainment likely wouldn’t develop for Wii U “but never say never,” he was accused of not supporting the platform.

“Totally wrong. I did [support Wii U], said Ward. “Secondly, I complained when the company didn’t even bother to press the discs with our game.”

When a user complained over the “stealth” release on Wii U well after the release on all other systems, Ward retorted the team worked its “arses off,” and that “neither Nintendo or EA gave a shit about it.”

“Everyone is so quick to blame the developers. Folks worked through New Year to deliver that. We tried to do our best,” he said. “Do you think we were happy about that? We just did the coding. Like we had any choice over when it was released? Or the price? Idris, Rob, Chris, Paul, Jim did what was asked of them. Everyone else let us down.

“We even flew to Nintendo to personally demo [the game] in a bid for marketing support. There was none. The game was not even physically released initially in Europe. Members of the team could not even buy their own game.

“Bitch and moan at the publishers not the developers. So seeing as our families won’t eat if we fuck up, we will choose our platforms carefully.”

Ward goes on to say that “stuff like that pissed me off” and was one of the reasons he left EA to use his savings to form Three Fields Entertainment, adding that “NFSU was certainly NOT the main reason,” he left EA.

Rumblings regarding discord between EA and Nintendo started surfacing last year, when EA stated its major titles for FY14 using Frostbite 3 would not be developed for Wii U.

DICE technical director Johan Andersson even stated since Frostbite 2 didn’t run well on Wii U, the developer decided against trying to get the new iteration running on the console.

After a few reports on issues between the companies, then head of EA Sports Andrew Wilson stated to never “count Nintendo out”, leading the public to believe all was well and that EA was only taking a hiatus from the console.

Earlier this year, a rumor stemming from an “internal source within EA” stated Nintendo became “dead” to the company “quickly.”

EA COO Peter Moore quickly debunked the accusation, stating not to believe everything you read on the Internet.

Whether Nintendo’s lack of support Ward outlined regarding NFS: Most Wanted was one of the underlying issues between the two firms or not remains to be seen.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted was released on PC, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Xbox 360, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire in October and November of 2012.

An enhanced Wii U version, entitled Need for Speed: Most Wanted U, was released in March 2013.

Thanks,Nintendo Life.



  1. antraxsuicide

    EA can say whatever in a press release, but they can’t lie to shareholders. They have zero Wii U games in development, at a company who has more projects in development than any other 2 combined. The Wii U has completely failed to attract ANY meaningful 3rd party support, and that’s why that system is dead.

    Even Ubisoft has finally had it with Nintendo.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. Legendaryboss

    Huh so it was actually sent out to die by publisher and manufacturer, granted Nintendo don’t have much responsibility to do with this besides manufacturer’s duties but when Sony & MS promote third parties games through events, adverts, blog presence, Only on insert platform of choice(s) at the end of trailers/ads in addition to doing this stuff with their published games.

    A shame really because i heard it really was the definitive edition over 360/PS3. Like i said before Nintendo cannot carry Wii U & 3DS (Maybe in this instance) by itself, sooner or later they need third parties aboard and they need out of that bubble of theirs.

    Also this really highlights conflicts between developer/publisher/manufacturer and shows off one of many reasons why professionals jump ship and become independent.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. CPC_RedDawn

    I find it hilarious how companies like EA and other publishers are quick to count out one of the most influential console makers the industry has ever seen just because they dropped the ball with the latest console. They were quick to release bloatware on the Wii when it did so well, they even supported the Gamecube throughout its entire life span even though that sold nowhere near as much as the PS2 did.

    I strongly believe Nintendo will bounce back from this this Wii U fiasco and release another console in three years time and then EA will jump back on them like a shot.

    It would be funny to see Nintendo go third party only and release games on the XB1, PS4 and PC. Then see their games dominate across all platforms and leave EA games trailing in the dust. If Nintendo wanted they could buy out EA with the click of their fingers, they have nearly $12 billion dollars just sitting in their bank. They are NOT going anywhere.

    #3 10 months ago
  4. monkees19


    Exactly right. People forget, rather easily somehow, that Wii has outsold the 360 and PS3 despite Nintendo discontinuing the Wii. Neither will ever catch it. And forget the DS. What was that 10 to 1 over PSP? (I know it’s 2 to 1 but the point is made) Even if its first party, the highest selling software has always been Nintendo. Always. Mario Kart Wii was the highest selling Wii game. No software on rival consoles even sold half that. So they can ignore Nintendo all they want. The highest reviewed, highest selling games have always been, and will always be on Nintendo consoles. It’s a shame they can’t get in on the cash cow.

    #4 9 months ago

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