While Sega has clearly spurned the Gamecube on the sports front, just perhaps at the pressure of money burdened partner Microsoft, Electronic Arts remains comitted to supporting Nintendo. EA has announced that the Gamecube will get the full EA Sports treatment that will see the two companies collaborate on 20 or more titles! Read on for some specifics.
According to Gamespy Daily:
Electronic Arts has diminished recent rumors on faltering support by publishers for Nintendo's GameCube, announcing an agreement with Nintendo that sees both companies collaborate on more than 20 games for the GameCube and Game Boy Advance. All titles will include exclusive features for connected play between the two consoles. Moreover, Nintendo's main man, Shigeru Miyamoto, will be providing input on technical gameplay elements.
You know, because Shigeru Miyamoto is widely known as a big Madden fan! Ok, I know the first rule of gaming: thou shalt blame the controller or poor game design for any loss. Wait, I'm sorry, that's rule three, I meant: thou shalt not take the Lord's name (Shigeru Miyamoto) in vain, though thou may refer to him lovingly as Shiggy. Still, what is he going to contribute? Let's cel shade Rich Gannon! Let's make Tiger Woods into a plumber with environmentalist tendencies!
Ok, snide comments aside, overall this is outstanding news for Nintendo. While their sports game market hasn't been particularly strong for some time, the rededication of a company like EA begins to plug the hull breach that was apparently syphoning third parties into space. Further, for those, apparently few, sports fans on the Gamecube it leaves plenty of quality title to look forward to ... like ...
The first three titles included in the agreement are: Madden NFL 2004, FIFA 2004 and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004. Madden NFL 2004 and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2004 have been pegged down for release in respectively August and October. FIFA 2004 will launch in Europe in autumn.
Just the kind of good press Nintendo needs right now. Hopefully we'll see Zelda breathe new life into the Gamecube.