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Alex Ward (ex-Criterion) talks about the problems launching Need For Speed: MW Wii U

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
We usually don't get this candid a take on something like this from someone using their real identity, so I figure why not.

First, let me set up the background of why he shared and then go on and embed his comments. I apologize for the really confusing format I'm about to link this in, but I drew arrows to make it more clear.

The Prompt:



This statement engendered a few complaints from more enthusiastic fans of the platform.

However, his responses include a lot of details about why he felt the Wii U version of NFS:MW had no support from EA or Nintendo and why this upset him.

He also explains further why they probably won't be making games on Wii U despite it allowing self publishing.

I tried to cut this up in a readable fashion.



 
I love how the guy he's talking to starts out yelling at him for not making a Wii U game and by the end is yelling at Nintendo for making it so hard to make a Wii U game.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
The most remarkable thing about the exchange is how a random Twitter guy just decided to abuse a developer for not releasing on his console of choice... and then upon being explained that he was yelling at the wrong guy, started yelling at someone else.

In life, if you aren't sure about who you need to yell at, it's probably time to stop yelling.

Edit: Damnit charlequin
 

StuBurns

Banned
Those guys quest for actual parity, down to image balancing, is without equal in the industry.

That dude was a dick.
 
Both the best (Ward candidly explaining what was going on) and the worst (that goddamn guy) parts of Twitter

Edit: Oh god RED ERRWHERE
 

KAP151

Member
I remember talking to him on the IGN PAL boards about Burnout 2. Cool guy that knows his stuff.

Just another example in the long line of disastrous Nintendo third party relations.
 

jett

D-Member
It's refreshing to see a developer being so honest and candid.

edit: I hope Alex Ward's new endeavor gets some measure of success, whatever it is. Burnout Paradise forever.
 

Broken Joystick

At least you can talk. Who are you?
"So seeing as our families won't eat if we fuck up, we will choose our platforms carefully."

Jesus, hearing shit like that makes me feel fucked up for being a little pissed towards the game, I get it, EA and Nintendo are at fault here and the devs did a brilliant job on the game.

We need unions in the industry or something...shit.
 

L Thammy

Member
"Totally wrong. I did. Second, I compained when the company didnt even bother to press the discs with our game on."

This seems like a huge fuck-up. Is this typically done by the console manufacturer or the publisher? I would think that it's the publisher.

Somehow I don't think Nintendo was going to bend over backwards for a publisher that dropped them at the drop of a hat.

Considering the position they're in, they honestly should.
 

maxcriden

Member
From my interpretation, it seems like this is more on EA than Nintendo. I don't think Nintendo usually does big marketing pushes for 3rd party games.
 
What was Ward's new company developing?

From my interpretation, it seems like this is more on EA than Nintendo. I don't think Nintendo usually does big marketing pushes for 3rd party games.
It might've made sense to when it was the only 3rd party game (besides arguably Rayman Legends) where the Wii U version was both graphically superior to the other console versions and included more features. Didn't it also have some Mario stuff thrown into it as an easteregg?

Instead at shows like Jimmy Kimmel they focused on having CoD when their version was easily the worst running out of the big three consoles.
 
Yep, I've had discussions about this in other threads before. I consider myself a Nintendo supporter but it's been clear for a long time that they don't believe that it's their job to market for 3rd parties unless they're publishing.

Sony and MS do this all the time (especially MS) and in the end it helps everyone make money off the platform.
 

-MB-

Member
That guy yelling at him doesn't strike me as a Nintendo fanboy, judging the majority of his tweets are directed at NoA with negative comments.
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
Can someone break it down for me? I don't quite get it.

They made the Need For Speed: Most Wanted Wii U version by having staff work over the holidays to get it done and then Nintendo refused them any marketing support and EA didn't even print discs for the European release because they didn't think it would sell anything.

It was part of Alex Ward's disillusionment with the AAA industry because after his team worked hard to actually make a good product on Wii U he couldn't get any support either from his publisher or the console vendor, and eventually ended up going indie.

His indie studio doesn't intend to work with publishers due to his experiences over the years and thus will release on any platform they can self publish, except perhaps the Wii U, because something that might end badly financially for them, and it's extra painful as the company is funded by Alex's life savings money instead of the money of a publisher, and thus if their product fails, their staff is out of work.

Edit:

Basically neither EA or even Nintendo seemed to give a shit about it and they worked hard to put out a version of the game that turned out to be a waste of everyone's time

Yes, this is a much simpler summary.
 

Pociask

Member
It's a mod party. His comments fit with Nintendo's general advertising strategy: do as little as possible, as late as possible, as cheaply as possible. Express shock at the amount of money other publishers spend on advertising games, and continue to send off games (even first party releases) to die in silence.
 

Adam Blue

Member
I know three people who worked under Alex Ward and they all say he was a fucking jerk to work for. Just adding that for context.

Probably due to publisher pressure, hence him leaving.

As for the union comment, it's really just a matter of leaving behind what is left of these big AAA publishers. It just doesn't seem to be a good idea to get involved in game development under a publisher with a bloated budget. Maybe it's just me.
 

antonz

Member
EA had already decided Nintendo wasn't worth their time but the Guys at Criterion stuck through with the product considering as far along as it was. I give those guys a lot of credit because they did work their asses off to deliver a good game that took advantage of the systems benefits. Their bosses simply gave up on it well before it was finished and Nintendo likely gave no care because EA already balked at Nintendo
 
Why would Nintendo provide marketing support for an EA game? EA already pulled the plug on Wii U prior to this.

Because if Nintendo needs to do anything right now, it's not give a fuck about third parties supporting them.

I seriously doubt they could change EA's strategy by doing anything special for NFS MW.
 

Curufinwe

Member
Twitter is pretty awesome if rambling from "Nintendrone456" can elicit candid responses like this from a well known developer.
 

Giolon

Member
One of his comments was kind of snarky, but I wouldn't call it abusive towards the dev.

Can you really blame this guy for not knowing the right particular party to direct their unhappiness to? This industry is so damn secretive about how everything works and who has what responsibilities.

But damn, this whole thing really paints Nintendo and EA in a really bad light.
 

Certinty

Member
It's actually quite a shame this happened. I didn't like Most Wanted, but the Wii U version was by far the best version of the game.
 

NateDrake

Member
Jesus, hearing shit like that makes me feel fucked up for being a little pissed towards the game, I get it, EA and Nintendo are at fault here and the devs did a brilliant job on the game.

We need unions in the industry or something...shit.

The last thing this industry needs is a union.

His statement is in context to their indie games doing poorly. If they make a game, publish it on their own, and it bombs, then they are fucked. They need to pick the platform carefully. Doesn't mean it will be a guaranteed success, but they are going to approach with caution because their livelihood depends on it.
 

Oersted

Member
Hey mods^^...

Anyway, what a annoying ... well drone.

I love how the guy he's talking to starts out yelling at him for not making a Wii U game and by the end is yelling at Nintendo for making it so hard to make a Wii U game.

Isn't this less about making it and more about pushing it?

Twitter is pretty awesome if rambling from "Nintendrone456" can elicit candid responses like this from a well known developer.

I guess we also know his password now.
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
"Totally wrong. I did. Second, I compained when the company didnt even bother to press the discs with our game on."

This seems like a huge fuck-up. Is this typically done by the console manufacturer or the publisher? I would think that it's the publisher.



Considering the position they're in, they honestly should.

The publisher, but the console vendor can gives financial breaks or add incentives (like marketing money) to print discs if the publisher thinks they will lose money by making the minimum print requirement (which can be anywhere from 5000-50,000 depending on who the console vendor is, usually at $10-$12 per disc printed as the licensing fee is up front).

Since EA and Nintendo couldn't come to an agreement and EA thought they would lose money, EA didn't print discs for the European release up front.
 
So many mods in the first 8 posts.

I feel bad for well-meaning developers part of a bureaucratic machines such as EA. How can you ever get your voice heard?

I wish Nintendo was not so dismissive of everyone. They have been heartless bastards to third parties for forever, but the Wii and DS success stories only makes it worse. Hopefully Nintendo will return to form one day, but I am starting to give up on them too, sadly.
 

FZZ

Banned
So many mods. When can I become one?

On Topic: Really puts Nintendo's current relations with Third Party Devs into perspective. I don't think the publishers give a shit, they just want cash.
 

greycolumbus

The success of others absolutely infuriates me.
I love how the guy he's talking to starts out yelling at him for not making a Wii U game and by the end is yelling at Nintendo for making it so hard to make a Wii U game.

The most remarkable thing about the exchange is how a random Twitter guy just decided to abuse a developer for not releasing on his console of choice... and then upon being explained that he was yelling at the wrong guy, started yelling at someone else.

In life, if you aren't sure about who you need to yell at, it's probably time to stop yelling.

Edit: Damnit charlequin

That guy seems to be throwing shit everywhere and seeing where it sticks so the about-face isn't surprising.
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
Hey mods^^...

Anyway, what a annoying ... well drone.

I love how the guy he's talking to starts out yelling at him for not making a Wii U game and by the end is yelling at Nintendo for making it so hard to make a Wii U game.

Isn't this less about making it and more about pushing it?

Well, he's yelling at him because the game from Alex Ward's new company might not be coming to Wii U, and they get on a tangent about NFS:MW Wii U.
 

GulAtiCa

Member
Sucks the game didn't sell well. I bought it, granted half-off at launch. I enjoyed it.

yup and alex didnt even go into how bad it is submitting your game to nintendo for cert.

Having just gone through the process myself, I found it rather painless. The only issue for me was how long it can take sometimes from submit to final approval... Which is, granted, a rather large issue, I know I found it annoying. Can be a bit of wasted time if you go through the process several times due to fail/resubmit process.

Out of curiosity, anyone know what the process is like for Sony|Microsoft? I'm curious how long those take.
 
To those who don't have this game and have a Wii U, you should totally get it. I haven't played a Need for Speed game in quite a while, but purchased this after all the positive things said by those who purchased it. Worth the price of admission!
 
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