Aurich Lawson

EA has announced that it won't be bringing a version of this year's Madden NFL football title to the struggling Wii U, the first time since 1991 that the annual football series won't appear on a current-generation Nintendo home system.

"We will not be releasing a Wii U version of Madden NFL in 2013," EA said in a statement obtained by Nintendo World Report. "However, we have a strong partnership with Nintendo and will continue to evaluate opportunities for delivering additional Madden NFL products for Nintendo fans in the future."

The Madden series is routinely among the top-selling releases of the year in the US, but usage statistics showed the Wii U version of last year's Madden 13 struggled to make much of an impact compared to the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. To be fair, the Wii U version came out when the system launched in November, well after the August release of the other versions. But the Wii U version was also missing some key features present in the other games, including the much ballyhooed "Infinity Engine" physics modeling.

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Regular Ars readers will remember how Nintendo's bafflingly obtuse DRM system forced me to pay $60 to move $400 worth of previously purchased Wii Virtual Console games to my new Wii U. Apparently I should have held out longer, because at least one user is reporting Nintendo eventually accommodated him more when fixing a similar issue.

Last month, Ryan, one host of the Nintendo Fun Club Podcast, chronicled his experience with Error Code 200101, a recurring issue preventing him from transferring $570 worth of Virtual Console purchases from the Wii to the Wii U. Three calls to Nintendo customer support throughout the course of a week seemed to be getting him no closer to having his problem fixed. The whole scenario had Ryan running up against the same $85 Wii "repair" wall I encountered.

Then something surprising happened. As Ryan notes in a follow-up post, his fourth call to Nintendo support left him with a $620 account credit in the Wii Shop Channel—including a $50 bonus for "the inconvenience." Nintendo could apparently also remotely delete the licenses for the games purchased on his Wii system, allowing him to easily repurchase the games he lost. This was especially interesting to me, because the Nintendo customer service rep I talked to told me in no uncertain terms such license deletion was impossible.

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