"Probably not to be honest," Ward replied on Twitter. "But never say never." The resulting, occasionally heated conversation with fans shed light on his perspective on the relationship between the developer and Need for Speed publisher EA. After being accused of not properly supporting Nintendo's console after launching the Wii U version of the game later than the others, Ward said, "Totally wrong. I did. Second, I complained when the company didn't even bother to press the discs with our game on." He added that the team at Criterion "worked our arses off. Neither [Nintendo] or EA gave a shit about it. A group of us did try" and that disappointed fans should "bitch and moan at the publishers not the developers."
"We just did the coding," Ward said. "Like we had any choice over when it was released? Or the price? Everyone is so quick to blame the developers. Folks worked through New Year to deliver that. We tried to do our best. We even flew to [Nintendo] to personally demo in a bid for [marketing] support. There was none." Ward added that "the game was not even physically released initially in Europe. Members of the team could not even buy their own game."
The frustration led to Ward's departure from the company in January. "Stuff like that pissed me off hence I left EA and have started my own company using my savings. So seeing as our families won't eat if we fuck up, we will choose our platforms carefully," he said.
Ward was careful to state that "NFSU is certainly NOT the main reason I left EA" and that "it's two years ago and much water has passed under the bridge since. I just care about great games." He also took a moment to sing the praises of development teams like BioWare, DICE, Visceral and the FIFA team at EA Canada.