So they came for the WiiU owners (both of them) and I pointed and laughed, but now the joke’s on me as EA has announced that its upcoming slate of sports games (powered by the new Ignite engine) will not see any kind of PC release for the foreseeable future. In an interview with Polygon, Andrew Wilson, executive vice president of EA Sports, explained that the engine was designed to work only with the closed architecture of the next-gen consoles, specifically “how the CPU, GPU and RAM work together in concert in that type of environment.” He added, “There needs to be some adjustment in terms of how EA Sports Ignite works to facilitate the open nature of PC architecture, rather than the closed nature of console architecture.” The other major stumbling block according to Wilson, and the same one that prevented cross-platform releases of early 360/PS3 versions of FIFA, was that the bulk of PC owners who would purchase the title didn’t have the hardware to run the new engine, which is why it wasn’t until FIFA 11 that a comparable port was possible. Apparently this new generation faces a similar technological gap, and thus “PC is hard, wah” and so forth. This will mainly be a blow only to soccer fans, as PC Madden players haven’t seen that title since 08, but it still seems like a lot of hemming and hawing to avoid saying the market just isn’t there.
Listen, I’m not a programmer, maybe it is super-duper tough to port these titles and would require all this money and effort that the giant corporation just can’t spare at the moment. Of course it does seem a little hypocritical (and by hypocritical, I mean stupid) for a company that’s trying to build its own digital PC storefront to dismiss the platform, especially when said storefront is in desperate need of some good PR after the SimCity debacle. Considering Origin is up against an established and far more popular platform in Steam, you’d think they’d want every advantage they could get, but hey, what do I know. Still, I guess in this humbling moment I can finally gain a little insight into the frustration of the WiiU fanbase, and maybe, just maybe, overcome my knee-jerk cynicism and start mending some fences. Hey Nintendoids, come on over, let’s hug it out. I’ve got an arm for each of you. BAM, SAME JOKE!
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