Weak Sales Reason For Need For Speed: Rivals Skipping Wii U And PS Vita

Speaking to TSA about NfS: Rivals, following our hands on time with the game, Creative Director Craig Sullivan answered our question as to why Rivals would not be seeing a release on Wii U or PlayStation Vita, when Most Wanted had reached both.

The background to this game’s development is quite complicated, with many factors in play. Ghost Games is a new studio in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Need for Speed: Rivals is their first title, working in partnership with Ghost UK, a team formed largely of staff from Criterion Games. However, in addition to being a new team and the transitionary period that brings, Rivals is also a game coming to machines on both current and next generations of hardware, and is using the Frostbite 3 engine to do so.

The Frostbite 3 engine has quite notably not been ported to either Wii U or PS Vita at this time, in contrast to the Chameleon engine being ported to both for the releases of Need for Speed: Most Wanted, and resulted in what was an improved game on many counts for Wii U players. Battlefield 4, another Frostbite 3 game, is also not going to be making its way to the Wii U.

When asked about this, Craig explained that:

Honestly, it’s not the kind of stuff that I like talking about in detail, that much. We did a load of extra work on the Wii U version, and we had a lot of guys working on that stuff, you know?

It didn’t really sell that many, in terms of the Wii U market. I would love for it to have, because we put so much effort into that, trust me. I’d love for it to be way bigger than it was, and the same for the Vita.

[Rivals] is going onto new hardware, and you have to work out where you focus your efforts. The 200 people working on this game are only capable of making so much, and doing so many different versions of the game, so we had to go with where we think the biggest audience will be for the game, and that’s where we are.

Not for lack of effort put in by the developers previously, it seems that any Wii U and PS Vita versions of Rivals has hung on their install base, on Most Wanted’s sales record, and also the demands of bringing the game to new platforms.

Check back later to see Craig’s explanation of the events which saw the transformations Criterion Games underwent as Ghost UK was created, and the future of the Need for Speed franchise.


  1. They didn’t even support the Vita version of Most Wanted at all. I submitted numerous bug reports and they said they’d pass it on but the game never got a single patch. Disappointing really because I love Most Wanted on Vita…

    • I really enjoyed MW on Vita, a fabulous game despite it’s flaws. Such a shame Rivals wont be coming, as racers mostly seem a perfect fit for handhelds.

  2. I was delighted to get a hold of the Vita version.

    Unfortunately I didn’t preorder and it took literally months for a store in Cork, the second biggest city in Ireland, to get more stock of Need for Speed Most Wanted on the Vita.

    I have no idea why. And that stock seemed to fly off the shelves too. Maybe if they’d made more copies of the game available they’d have sold more.

  3. VITA version was wonderful. I played it on a friend’s vita and i was willing to buy it, but not for 50 euros (digital version..)

  4. It’s not looking good for the Wii U and Vita if one of the largest racing franchises backed by one of the largest publishers don’t think either of the consoles are worth developing for.

    • The less Need For Speed…. the better. It won’t hurt them much since the less enthusiastic of games buy them.

  5. Rivals streaming to Vita! just don’t leave your house ;) (its almost the same honest!)

    • The Vitas Remote Play capabilities work even outside of the house.

  6. or maybe it’s because unlike fifa, they can’t just update the roster of last years version and call it a new game.

  7. Shame this.Whilst i can see that if thereturns are’nt there, there’s little point in developing Wii U or Vita versions (after all no Bucks..no Buck rogers…games need to sell well to fund new games etc), it’s often something of a catch-22 situation.

    Buyer looks at platform X, as it’s recently had a price drop, is now more appealing, within their price range, they are look out for a 2nd machine etc.Looks to see if it’s got a version of a game they want and if so what exclusive features it has, see’s game is’nt on platform, nor are there any plans to bring it to the system, so they don’t buy Platform X.

    Developers say:we’d love to support platform X, but user base is too small and when we supported it in the past, people ignored our game, despite great reviews and bought ‘same old tripe III’ instead.

    Existing owners of Platform X say:I’d loved to have bought your game, but could i find a copy round here? no…shops only ordered 5 copies, buying instead, 300 copies of ‘same old tripe III’ as that was huge seller, even though people brought in back in 3 days later as they’d finished it/got bored of it and did a p-x or got credit note for pre-order of ‘same old tripe 4’, which people say is going to be MASSIVE!

  8. This is BS. NFS:MW sold over 400,000 physical copies. I bought my copy of the PSV version digitally as I am sure many others did. Supposedly a third of games are bought digitally. Using a conservative figure of 20% that would mean an additional 80,000 copies were sold. I think 480,000 copies sold warrants bringing the sequel onto the same platform. This number single-handedly beats the number of PC copies sold, yet Rivals is releasing for PC. So don’t feed me that crap sandwich about PSV sales. Yes, the Wii U version sold miserably. IIRC it sold about 50,000 units. However, it is unfair to lump the PSV in with that train wreck.

    Also, by comparison the Xbox 360 version sold 1,150,000 units. So, 1,150,000 is great for a system that has been out for almost 10 years and has an install base of over 75 million, but 480,000 units for a system in its Freshman year that has an install base of around 3 million is unacceptable. I mean come on, 1 in 6 PSV owners bought your game as opposed to 1 in every 78 Xbox 360 owner.

  9. This guy is F’NG lying!!! They had already stated previously that they had no plans to BEGIN WITH to bring Rivals to Wii U. Wanna source? Here ya go!


    LICK T3STICL3S, EA! Lying sacks of degenerate garbage!

    You tell SO MANY lies that you cannot even KEEP THEM ALL STRAIGHT!!!

    This is why you sacks of sh*t get WORST COMPANY in AMERICA every single year!!!

    • I could not agree more man. I hate EA now. They killed NFL games by monopoly and then they lie non stop. First they say FB3 can’t run on wii u. Then they say we have nothing in the works as of now for wii u after their “unprecedented” support and partnership with the big N just to give us watered down ports of games most played or have already with the exception of most wanted. Now they say this crap. Third time in a row winner of worst us company is in the ea forcast.

  10. Whoa whoa whoa….hang on a minute. Rivals is running on FB3 engine and then EA says weak sales are the reason for no wii u version? I feel some one here on TSA need to make note of that. So does this mean that wii u can run FB3 fine, which I am sure it does, and now they are using weak sales as an out instead? E A is starting to show through as a bad company lead by agendas and politics. The Android games they make buggy and crash or constant errors. BF4 looks no better than 3 and could have been an add on. Nothing looks new. Played it on PC and ps3. Not impressed at all. EA needs to pack it in and admit they lied about FB3 and the wii u support but let’s not forget how bad origin is. I can’t even play BF3 sans a crash. EA is for the birds………to poop on.

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