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

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

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.

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