Yesterday we learned that Electronic Arts will be the primary publisher of Star Wars games over the next several years, with Disney holding onto rights for a few specific categories (mobile, social, etc.) And though it wasn't immediately apparent, it's looking like the new deal could be bad news for Wii U owners.
EA has already revealed that games it produces under the Star Wars franchise will run on its Frostbite 3 engine — also set to serve as the foundation for other next-gen projects like Battlefield 4 and the next Mass Effect game. Unfortunately, last month DICE said Nintendo's own "next-gen" console isn't currently supported by Frostbite 3. "We don't want to back down from what we see as our low-spec machines," Battlefield executive producer Patrick Bach said at the time, referring to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Recent tweets from Frostbite technical director Johan Andersson aren't any more encouraging. "FB3 has never been running on WiiU," he said, responding to a gamer upset over the long odds facing a Wii U Star Wars title. "We did some tests with not too promising results with FB2 & chose not to go down that path," he said. As such, Wii U owners intent on playing through the "entirely original" stories being planned may need a second console beneath the TV this fall. EA hasn't yet formally dismissed the possibility of bringing Frostbite 3 to Nintendo's customers in some capacity, however; avoiding the Wii U entirely could leave quite a bit of money on the table.
We've reached out to both EA and Nintendo for clarification on the matter and will update this story accordingly when we hear back.