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EA founder attacks "feudal" Nintendo

Attributes publisher's early success to Sega.

The original founder of enormo-publisher EA has denounced Nintendo for ushering in a "feudal dark age" for the games industry and stifling third parties' chance of success.

Speaking at the GamesBeat conference in San Francisco today, Trip Hawkins, who now runs social gaming outfit Digital Chocolate, criticised Nintendo's closed approach for limiting creativity.

"Look at the world wide web and how many great companies have been built on that open platform," he said, as reported by Gamasutra.

"Nintendo is a great, amazing company, but how many companies have been built on the back of Nintendo's platform in the past 25 years?"

He then explained how EA's early success was as a result of its decision to support the more open Sega Mega Drive over Nintendo's hardware.

"We fought for our freedom. We didn't accept the feudal system."

Hawkins then insisted that the days of single platform exclusives were over and, more than ever before, the success of console manufacturers now lies with external developers.

"There is no question that there is a war going to win the hearts and minds of the developers. They will decide which feudal lord wins or loses. The days of floating your boat on one platform are over. The question is, do you as a developer, own the dirt?"

The company he helped set up back in 1982 seems to be getting on better than ever with Nintendo these days, with current CEO John Riccitiello jumping on stage during its E3 presser to pledge support for the Wii U.

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Fred Dutton avatar

Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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