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'Sports gamers weren't there,' says EA Sports boss about abandoning Wii U and Facebook

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Electronic Arts stopped releasing sports games on Wii U and Facebook, at least for the time being, because "sports gamers weren't there," said EA Sports executive vice president Andrew Wilson in an interview with MCV.

EA Sports isn't releasing Madden NFL 25 or FIFA 14 on Wii U this year, although it released entries in both franchises on the console when Nintendo launched it last November. The company's next-generation engine, EA Sports Ignite, doesn't currently support Wii U or Windows PC — only Xbox One and PlayStation 4. EA's most recent Facebook title was Madden NFL 13 Social, which was released last fall; prior to that, the publisher experimented with a number of types of social gaming experiences on the web-based platform.

Wilson told Polygon at E3 that there's a chance EA will build PC support into the engine later, although that's dependent on a couple of factors. The company also may return to Wii U in the future, he said to MCV, but again, some things would have to change first.

"We had a strong offering on Wii U at launch. The platform hasn't had the take-up. Our games hasn't [sic] had the take-up we'd have liked," said Wilson. He added that EA would "never count [Nintendo] out," echoing previous statements by EA executives such as former CEO John Riccitiello.

"we'd never count [Nintendo] out"

"And should there be a sizable gamer base there in the future, we would build games for Wii U," Wilson continued. "But for us it's less about building for a platform, and more about building for a group of gamers on a platform where they are. And sports gamers weren't there."

The same is true for Facebook — social sports games have been in "fairly stark decline," said Wilson.

"Social, as it relates to Facebook, is not a focus for us anymore. We didn't do great there." Wilson explained. "I made games on Facebook because I thought people were there that wanted to play them. Then it became apparent to me that either I had the wrong game or they weren't there."