Friday, May 14, 2010

Coffee's Brewed Thoughts: EA's Missed Skate 3 Opportunity

Wednesday night, I went to a friend's house(Cansecoholic) and he had a box of Folgers Coffee Singles.
Basically, it's coffee in a tea bag!  I did try it, though by the time I sat down to drink it; it was already lukewarm because I was watching my son crawl all over their house.
The idea, with Folgers Coffee Singles, is for brewing the coffee right in the cup; quickly and easily.

I have random thoughts/questions about the game industry, but I don't express them often.
So, if I have a thought/question that is gaming related, I will start posting some as a "Quick Brewed Thought" or "Brewed Thought", depending on length.
I will highlight the "Thought", so it stands out, but I will also provide any "analysis" or extra thoughts beneath it.

Today's is a "Brewed Thought":
Why didn't EA develop and publish Skate 3 also for the Nintendo Wii? 
I think they missed a good opportunity.
This past Tuesday, Skate 3 was released for the PS3 and the Xbox 360, but not for the Wii.
I emailed EA back in March asking if a Wii version of Skate 3 was going to be released.
I still have not received a reply from them about it(not holding my breath for a reply either).

Now, you may be thinking, "Why should EA have released Skate 3 on the Wii?"

Let's look at two multi-console released boarding games in recent years: Shaun White Snowboarding Road Trip and Tony Hawk: RIDE.
Shaun White Snowboarding Road Trip was released in November 2008 for the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360.
The PS3 and Xbox 360 version of Shaun White Snowboarding Road Trip had online play and had a realistic graphics style.
The Wii version of Shaun White Snowboarding Road Trip did not have online play and had a more stylized graphics approach.
What the Wii version did have, that the other console versions did not, was support of the Wii Balance Board.
Shaun White Snowboarding Road Trip
Well, just 6 months after it released, Ubisoft announced a sequel for Shaun White Snowboarding Road Trip.
The big difference with the sequel though, it was going to be a Wii exclusive title only.
I would think, if the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game had sold well, those consoles would have gotten the sequel as well, but they didn't.

Tony Hawk: RIDE was released for the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360 in November 2009.
When the first months NPD numbers were reported, the Wii version of Tony Hawk: RIDE had sold more than the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, combined.
Wii Tony Hawk: Ride Skateboard Bundle
I even did a blog post, before the NPD numbers were reported, titled, "Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest: Tony Hawk: Ride, Console Conversations".
Now, Tony Hawk: RIDE didn't support the Balance Board because it had its own skateboard peripheral, but I believe Wii owners were already familiar with the idea, from past games; like Shaun White Snowboarding Road Trip and even Skate It, both of which were compatible with the Wii Balance Board.

Also, take a look at skateboarding/snowboarding games on the Wii, and their play-time data:
(click image to enlarge)

I think the data shows that Wii owners play skateboarding games, even ones that are overpriced and don't review well.
Also, I find it interesting that Skate It has the most "Total Hours" currently reported out of all the skateboarding games with data on the Wii.  Perhaps, it is because Skate It is compatible with the Wii Balance Board?

If both Shaun White Snowboarding Road Trip and Tony Hawk: RIDE sold better on the Wii, than the other consoles, why do you think EA did not release Skate 3 on the Wii with Balance Board support?
Do you think EA missed a good sales opportunity by not releasing Skate 3 on the Wii?  Or, do you think Wii owners would not have been interested in the game, and releasing Skate 3 just on the PS3 and the Xbox 360 was the right move?

I don't know why EA chose to release Skate 3 on the PS3 and the Xbox 360, but not on the Wii.
I do think EA missed an opportunity with Skate 3, by not releasing it on the Wii at the same time as the other consoles.  I wonder who made the decision for what consoles the game would be released on, and how they made that decision.

If you are interested in Skate 3, or Skate It, you can see new and used prices for them below:


  1. I think it may be due to the size of the game world, seeing as how it is very huge and wide open, and because the game is meant for dual analogs. Now I 'm sure they could've made this do-able for the Classic Controller, but I think that isn't the main issue. It was probably having to make a port of it which would take even longer, hence, the spin off 'Skate-It'.


  2. EA are shit on the wii

    they wont release anything unless it's shovelware, a party game or a rail shooter

  3. @ Above- Apparently someone missed what the smiley says. KEEP IT CLEAN!

  4. @Anon

    I disagree. Dead Space: extraction was a decent experiment. Boom Blox is a lot of fun. And while not as snazzy as the other systems, I thought the 5th Harry Potter and Beatles: Rock Band were decent titles.

    At least they try to make quality third party titles on the Wii, which is more than I can say for most companies.

  5. EA's been pretty good to the Wii. I love their MySims games, Boom Blox, Tiger Woods.

    Didn't care for Dead Space: EX. It was too "sit around and wait for something to happen instead of shooting all the time like good gun games".

  6. Are there numbers for the Shaun White sequel?

    As for the Skate series, while a lot of people were excited for the first game, it seemed most of the excitement was gone for the sequel. It also feels like the only people who care about Skate 3 are the fans still willing to buy another one. I think this is EA milking even though it doesn't seem like there is much to milk in the first place.

    One thing is that sequels that don't change much don't do well on the Wii because the expanded audience doesn't care to buy the same game only for new maps and features. If it was good in the first place, they'll keep playing the same game. Unless you talk about something like Guitar Hero that people liked so much they wanted new songs when they got tired of what was available.

    The other thing is that they also won't give a chance to a sequel to a game they didn't like. That's something a core gamer who has been following a game would do. Even if the sequel isn't good, they still might give a chance to the next iteration again. The expanded audience won't waste more time on something they don't like, they'll simply move on to other things.

    As to why exactly EA didn't make Skate 3 into a Skate It 2, it's hard to tell. For all we know Skate It was only an attempt to make some quick cash with the most popular console and to make investors happy in order to shy away from the console once it was done. In that case, whether Skate It sold well or not, they had no intention of making a sequel unless it sold an unusually high amount.

    Anyways, this has been standard practice since last gen. It's like companies are afraid to put something decent on a Nintendo console. I had to buy a PS2 to play Burnout 3 and Mortal Kombat: Deception (though I ended up buying Shaolin Monks instead). I pity the gamers that were looking forward to Soulcaliber 3 after the Gamecube version of 2 sold best...

  7. Maybe they're focusing on WiiHD?

  8. @keith:
    I could be the size, but I'm sure they could get it to work if they wanted it.

    Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare both ported to the Wii.
    If Mercenaries was done on the last generation Xbox, why not an open world skateboarding game?

    I just find it odd, that they wouldn't attempt to go for a game for Wii owners, after the trouble Tony Hawk: RIDE had.

    @Anonymous from May 15, 10:25AM:
    It's very interesting watching companies try to "figure" out what games to put on the Wii, then I see games like Call of Duty: World at War, Monster Hunter 3, Mario Kart Wii, etc., all do really well with online play.

    Even Nintendo has been slow I think, with putting out games on the Wii that fully use it's capabilities(including Wii Speak and WM+ now).

    @The Dread Pirate Guy:
    I don't think Anon was disagreeing with you about those games, that's why he said, "they won't release anything unless it's shovelware, a party game, or a rail shooter."

    I think the 5th Harry Potter would be the only game not in one of those three categories...though some would automatically put it in "shovelware", because it's a movie tie-in game.

    I rented Dead Space: Extraction, and returned it after only played it for about 10 minutes. A lot of cut-scenes it seemed.

    I don't think there have been any public NPD numbers for the sequel. The only other source for numbers, shows it's extremely low compared to the first one.

    "One thing is that sequels that don't change much don't do well on the Wii because the expanded audience doesn't care to buy the same game only for new maps and features."
    I think this is a very interesting thought, and I've wondered if Wii owners know to buy the original games, because they're cheaper and very similar to the sequels. Which, may be why Nintendo has stopped publishing several Wii titles already?

    @Nicodemus at Nite:
    Perhaps they are. Maybe we'll find out at E3.

    Thank you all very much for the comments!

    Any other thoughts?


Keep the comments clean. Rated "E" for Everyone. :)


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