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EA's Andrew Wilson on NBA Live, Nintendo and Online Passes

The executive talks about "not screwing up" NBA, how we shouldn't count Nintendo out, and not to expect to see Online Passes any time soon.

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At E3 we caught up with EA Sport's Andrew Wilson and discussed the four different titles presented by the studio at this year's event; FIFA 14, NBA Live 14, EA Sports UFC, and Madden NFL 25.

During the interview we discussed all four games, but we were particularly interested in hearing about plans for NBA Live 14, given the series' recent troubles: "We've had some challenges with that in the past," Wilson acknowledged. "We wanted gamers to know that we mean business, and we're not going to screw it up this time."

EA's Andrew Wilson on NBA Live, Nintendo and Online Passes

EA's decision to distance themselves from Nintendo's struggling Wii U has been well documented in recent weeks. We asked Wilson what the company's position was looking forward: "Nintendo is a tremendous and fantastic partner for us, and always has been," he told us.

"They're a great company that we never count out. We built games for that [Wii U] at launch. At this stage, the take up for that platform, particularly for sports games, hasn't been as strong as we would otherwise like. So there really isn't a big enough base for us to work to there, and so our focus is where the gamer base is, and our focus is where we're going to get the return against the investment on great, fantastic, innovative games."

Wilson continued: "Do I count Nintendo out? No. Do I expect that there could be a very bright future for them? Absolutely. But right now our focus is PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, and then PC and mobile."

The scrapping of Online Passes by EA was a well received move. We wanted to know if they were gone for good, or possibly set to return in the future.

"We eliminated Online Pass, and we did that because what we were trying to do was get some return, originally, was get some return on the online features and services that we were providing," we were told. "Unfortunately the manifest execution of that actually provided a barrier to those people who were buying the game directly through us. So rather than continue to create that barrier for them, we took it away."

Wilson then confidently declared: "For us it's done. It's gone, it's done; going forward and looking back, to the extent that technology facilitates that. That's really our position. I don't expect that things will change in the future. Who knows what happens around us? The market, industry, continues to change and evolve. Our focus continues to be to deliver great experiences at a game level, with as few barriers to entry as possible, that gets you from the point of boot-up to the point of play in the fastest possible way, and us eliminating Online Pass is really down to our commitment to that."



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