PS Vita

EA: Picking mobile over 3DS/Vita was ‘hard call’

EA couldn’t care less about Nintendo platforms. They release some games, like FIFA, on Wii and 3DS but don’t make many more games for 3DS and none for Wii U.

Speaking in an interview recently EA’s Peter Moore talked about why the company chose to support mobile devices over 3DS and even PS Vita. He said:

We were supportive of both of those platforms. But then you’ve got finite resources and you’ve got teams that say, ‘We really think that two or three years from now, these are the platforms that people are going to be consuming games on.’ And you look at the quality of what you can do on phones and tablets… Sometimes strategy is not about what you do but what you don’t do, and you have to make some hard calls when you’ve got only so many people. To my point, we’ve got to be planning for FY 17 and 18. Do you think the Vita and 3DS are going to be around in some shape or fashion by then on a scale level?

I’d have to disagree with Moore. I do think there’s a chance the 3DS at least is in decent shape in 2017 or 2018. But they’re missing some money on making original, unique experiences for 3DS/Vita in the present. What if they had supported both better in 2011, 2012 and 2013?

What if the 3DS or Vita’s successor are in great shape in 2017-2018 like Moore asks? What will EA do then, beg dedicated handheld gamer to buy their products again after alienating them for a generation?

I don’t think the mobile gaming market is going to completely eat away at the traditional handheld market. We’re already seeing some discontent in the mobile gaming development scene and every market has a crunch period where the market shrinks.

Currently dedicated handhelds are going through that but there’s no reason why the mobile gaming market won’t experience the same in a few years. Then will EA be able to convince the owners of the 3DS/PS Vita’s (and even Wii U) successors that they need their games even though they abandoned the 3DS/Vita in the past for mobile? Only time will tell if EA made the right call or missed out on major money with this gamble.