May 7, 2013 at 5:59 PM ET
Disney and video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) recently announced that the two companies had entered into a contract giving EA the exclusive rights to produce new "Star Wars" games. EA added that future "Star Wars" video games would be developed by two of its largest in-house studios—Visceral Games, creator of the supremely gory "Dead Space" series, and EA DICE (short for Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment), best known for its "Battlefield" series.
Seeing how any prospective "Star Wars" game would begin to appear around the same time as Sony and Microsoft's next-generation video game consoles hit the market, fans of "Star Wars" and EA naturally began to wonder what devices these new games might appear on.
Turns out, Wii U owners might be in for a rude awakening.
That's according to DICE's technical director Johan Andersson, who took to Twitter late last night to happily announce that any new "Star Wars" games made by his company or Visceral Games makes will use DICE's latest proprietary game engine, Frostbite 3.
When someone asked him what this meant for future Wii U games, Andersson sounded less than optimistic.
"[Frostbite 3] has never been running on Wii U," he tweeted. "We did some tests with not too promising results with [Frostbite 2] and chose not to go down that path."
Andersson's dismissal of any possible compatibility with Nintendo's newly-minted console comes barely a month after DICE's Patrick Bach admitted in an interview with the gaming site Eurogamer that the company "could probably make a Wii U game in theory" but said it's not particular invested in, well, investing "development time" in the system.
"To make the most out of the Wii U, that's a different game because of the different peripherals," Bach told Eurogamer. "We want to utilize all the power of each console. It's about 'where do you put your focus?' And the Wii U is not a part of our focus right now."
This would appear to confirm some of the fears that Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter recently expressed to NBC News about Nintendo's lack of third-party support for its new console. "Battlefield," like its close rival "Call of Duty," may not attract the kind of player who'd prefer a family-friendly console like the Wii U. But any new "Star Wars" game certainly could. Missing out on any future opportunities to bring "Star Wars" games to Nintendo customers deprives the company of the one brand that might be even more iconic than Mario and Luigi.
Representatives from EA and DICE did not respond to request for comment on this story.
Yannick LeJacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq and reach him by email at email@example.com.