EA has had an on-again off-again relationship with Nintendo since the early days of the NES. Back in the late ‘80s EA was one of the first major publishers to hop on board with Sega for its 16-bit Genesis game machine. As it became more popular with its burgeoning stable of hit sports games, Nintendo tried to woo them over to the Super Nintendo and succeeded in landing them as a third party supporter.
EA stuck with Nintendo through the N64 and GameCube days, but support began to dwindle with the Wii. No longer was Nintendo receiving full AAA games from the publisher. Instead watered-down versions of games like Madden showed that EA’s interests were elsewhere, primarily with Nintendo’s HD competitors. The Wii U ushered Nintendo into the HD era, and EA promised an unprecedented partnership. Little did we know at the time that meant little to no support for the console.
Today EA doesn’t publish games on any of Nintendo’s machines. They don’t see them as a good fit for their business. During an interview about Battlefield 1 with BBC Newsbeat, Patrick Soderlund of EA was asked about supporting Nintendo’s upcoming platform, codenamed the NX. He answered:
“I personally and the company are huge fans of Nintendo, they’re the reason why I started making games. We’re in constant communication with them and when they come to market something – and if it makes sense for us – we’ll be there.”
So, there we have it. No real answer from EA, other than they’ll be there if it makes sense for them to do so. I guess now the real question is whether or not Nintendo will make it worth EA’s time to show up.