Nintendo was known to refuse such a philosophy, and made EA perhaps quite upset.
Compare that now to Nintendo's approach, which invites 3rd parties to collaborate on games, to make games together as a team, that invests in making struggling companies succeed (Platinum) and that typically takes chances in smaller companies (Mistwalker, Monolith soft). A company that collaborates with other companies to promote healthy development practices in order to foster a sustainable industry.
Sure Nintendo improved their relationship with 3rd parties but it is still quite timid don't you agree? And on the taking chances or supporting small companies Sony and MS have done that also supporting struggling companies (I haven`t heard of Platinum struggling, I just heard of Bayonetta not being profitable so they wouldn`t release and Nintendo jumped in to have it, and that is a good thing for sure even more when at least 1M owners on Nintendo system seemed to appreciate the game).
Yeah, Sony & MS have also developed relations with small companies, that's true.
To answer your question about whether 3rd party initiatives are a bit timid or not on Nintendo's part, I have been doing a lot of research on the relationship between Nintendo and 3rd parties and here is what I discovered. During the time that Iwata was president of Nintendo, something happened that radically changed the mood of japanese 3rd parties towards Nintendo for the better. Here are something things that happened during his tenure:
- There was an initiative to loan Nintendo IPs to 3rd parties in order to increase software output of Nintendo IPs (Nintendo could not handle it all themselves). This forged relationships with 3rd parties such as Namco, Tecmo, Capcom to name a few, for who working on a Nintendo IP was a prestige. Some of these companies (esp. Namco) were on very bad terms with Nintendo due to legal battles over royalties and cartridges at the end of the NES era.
- Strategic Japanese exclusives were secured such as Monster Hunter on 3DS (which was big on PSP). This gave recognition to Capcom and strengthened the partnership. Nintendo doesn't often pull this kind of move but that was an important move for them (a bit like how Sony gave 1st party treatment to Squaresoft with their big migration of FFVII in the PS1 days).
- Nintendo worked closely with and eventually absorbed Namco's Monolith Soft, a team of former Squaresoft employees.
- Similarly, they published The Last Story, a game by Mystwalker, Sakaguchi's indie game dev consulting studio which he started after leaving Square.
- Nintendo pushed for experimental relationships with Squaresoft even if the prior president of Nintendo had created a rift. The games and devs in question are Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, the Brownie Brown studio, and a number of games produced by them.
- The Capcom 5 was a set of exclusive games Capcom would produce for Nintendo on the gamecube as part of an exclusivity deal (yep money, another rare move by Nintendo).
- The complete success of the portable line bolstered confidence in the Nintendo brand (mainly for portables).
I would say that, with Japanese developers, Nintendo is doing great.
With American developers, you have the Ubisoft move with Rabbids, and then you have some 3rd party companies making ports to the Wii (they were definitely approached by NOA). In the end though, Nintendo's relationship with Western 3rd parties is their weak point. Also, western games tend to prioritize graphics and raw power, which goes against the grain of Nintendo console philosophy (big money can still be made without that I need to point out).
On that I can easily agree with you.
But the question is, is it important? Perhaps Oniyide is right in saying that those games are not needed on Nintendo consoles. Perhaps they dilute the overall quality of the library, perhaps they change the appeal of the console by targeting an audience that doesn't mesh well with Nintendo's current direction (japanese type arcade and rpg games). To be honest, I am not sure what would be the best here.
But one thing is certain, it's that if EA did make games on Nintendo consoles, esp. if encouraged by Nintendo, the games would need to match the quality of what gamers expect to play on a Nintendo console. To me that's fundamental. So no shovelware, and no feature-weak half-ports. It's not welcome.