In 1991, the Super Nintendo was the recipient of a processor squelching John Madden Football. EA also ported their basketball sim the same year, and with the same agonizingly slow results. The Genesis w0uld reign supreme in the sports department.
Nintendo would counter in addition to holding versions of EA Sports franchises, issuing Play Action Football, NHL Stanley Cup, NCAA Basketball, and Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball. Nintendo’s edgy, cartoonish brands (in most cases) took a slice and carved their own niche that coincided with the Nintendo branding of the era. They had a fallback well into the N64 era.
Nintendo no longer carries a sports division. It’s gone. The company falls back on Mario sports titles, some of dubious quality, while accepting that third-parties would fill the holes… until now.
Madden launched alongside the 3DS, sans yearly numbering, and the platform has since been abandoned. The Wii U launched with Madden 13, a sluggish, frame rate hoarding port missing many of the established features from other consoles, and now, it has nothing.
EA Sports is foregoing the Wii U and 3DS as far as Madden is concerned. The consoles will not see ports of the 25th anniversary edition of a long running, tent pole franchise. By comparison, the DS saw ports up until Madden 09, and the standard Wii found itself in the grip of pro football until last year. The Wii even caught a handful of NCAA Football titles. EA claims they stand by the console manufacturer. From an EA statement to Nintendo World Report:
“… 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.”
Which means, probably, when sales improve. Though the 3DS has found a foothold in the marketplace, it remains a sagging handheld that shows where the market currently lies. The less said for the mess of the Wii U the better, Nintendo still trying to find a means to push the console into the limelight and explain to people why they need it.
A uniquely structured version of Madden 25 may have been it.