EA Sports Dodges Questions It Recycled FIFA on the Wii

Illustration for article titled EA Sports Dodges Questions It Recycled FIFA on the Wii

A week ago, Chris Scullion of Nintendo Gamer and Official Nintendo Magazine ripped FIFA 13's Wii version chin-to-groin, for being basically indistinct from FIFA 12 other than roster and uniform updates. Everyone knows the Wii is a dead console walking, but that does not excuse a major publisher palming off last year's release like it's something new this year.


Most folks go "Sim sports on the Wii?" and shrug, but Go Nintendo's constituency is, well, Nintendo consumers and they take this seriously. They hounded EA Sports for an explanation and didn't get one. Go Nintendo was told by an EA Sports rep that FIFA 13 has "the same great gameplay" as FIFA 12 and the studio porting it over "felt it was important to continue to offer fans the opportunity to play an authentic football experience on Wii."

It's a cynical, passive admission they recycled last year's game under a new banner. It also harms the larger cause of sports video games, a segment EA Sports dominates, when a label this visible recycles a product this important. Sports video games across all publishers confront a unique insult—that they're nothing more than updates of uniforms and rosters. That slur is angering to any who care about sports video games, whether they make one or play one.

So, I don't care if the Wii's AAA-title life support is certain to be shut off once the Wii U arrives in November, and all we'll see is shovelware until Nintendo files the console's official death certificate. FIFA 13 on the Wii is a basically dishonest product—it's just FIFA 12 cloaked in new menus, sold as a new release. Not only does it harm both brands—major brands, too—it damages the overall legitimacy of annual sports video game releases, regardless of label. It would have been more of a favor to those who love sports video games if EA Sports had simply chosen not to release FIFA 13 on the Wii.

EA dodges accusations of FIFA 12/13 Wii being the same game [Go Nintendo]



I must admit, this is the one segment of the gaming industry I've never gotten. Sure I deride some casuals and their mobile "gaming", but that hasn't stopped me from downloading Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds for those times when I'm stuck waiting somewhere. And while I may abhor MMOs, I can somewhat understand the appeal of something that turns your free time into a giant social chore.

But sports games I just don't understand. There's no special puzzle solving (unless they made a sports themed puzzle game where you had to solve puzzles to advance the game, that'd be awesome and I'd consider buying that), and I don't think that playing a rendered version of a team counts as any sort of escapism. Puzzles and escapism kind of happen to be the two biggest parts to gaming so far as I can figure.

So yeah, what gives?