The entire games industry was caught off guard by the unprecedented, booming success of the Nintendo Wii. That's according to developers at Electronic Arts (EA) who says that it's taken a while to adjust to the original way in which Wii games work.
"If you talk to anyone in the game industry, you'll hear that they were caught a little off-guard by the popularity of the Wii and how quickly the machine took root in the market," said Dave McCarthy, executive producer of EA Canada's Fusion team in an interview with The Vancouver Sun.
Nintendo Wii surprised EA
"It was a real curveball for us as a publisher and developer of games because it was a completely different system, [differing from] where the rest of the market was going", he said.
McCarthy said that to develop for the Wii means adapting to a completely different way of interacting with games and so it takes a while for games programmers and designers to get their heads around it.
"You have to understand a different consumer and a different way of using the machine, and it touches every area of game design," says McCarthy. "We have to create control schemes that are much more intuitive and much easier to pick up and play quickly.
"You have to appreciate the way people play this machine.It has a lot of appeal... if you just enjoy playing games casually," says McCarthy. "If you're a hardcore gamer who camped out in line overnight to buy Halo and you play everything on your Xbox 360, this is probably not the product for you."
Better Wii games on the way
McCarthy finished by saying that the current dearth of quality games for the Wii will not last long and that EA and others will start bringing out more specialised Wii games very soon.
"I promise you we'll be coming out with experiences that vary beyond Playground and take things in a new direction," McCarthy says, "but we're working on a whole lot more content for that new audience."