It seems that EA are wasting no time already at work producing the next UFC video game since the official announcement at E3 2012 in June.
It’s a funny story, and also one that really emphasises the UFC’s impact over the past few years. Before the release and production of the “UFC Undisputed 2009” video game, (the UFCs first major video game with a major gaming company) according to Dana White the UFC had approached EA hoping they would pick the UFC up for a potential video game production. UFC President Dana White then said that the people down at EA told the UFC that the UFC isn’t even a real sport and that they don’t want anything to do with this! Which made the UFC then go to work with THQ to produce the titles “UFC Undisputed 2009, UFC Undisputed 2010” and “UFC Undisputed 3”.
“EA Sports told us, ‘You’re not a real sport. We wouldn’t touch this thing. We want nothing to do with this.'”
Then this is where the birth of the UFC – EA Sports rivalry began when EA actually suddenly decided that MMA has now become a real sport when they released the “EA Sports MMA” video game featuring fighters from Strikeforce after they previously said that they didn’t want anything to do with this.
Now let’s fast forward to 2012. The UFC has already shown huge progress over the past few years in terms of popularity and overwhelming success, an example of this is the deal with FOX and just how they’ve attracted millions more fans around the world than, say, when Tito Ortiz was still champion.
Now the UFC have buried the hatchet with EA and actually announced in June that they have departed with THQ and have started working with EA for the next UFC video game, a huge step for the UFC.
Although may seem irrelevant to the UFC’s current success to some, let’s just look at some of the sports that go to EA for video production.
FIFA games, The Fight Night Series, NHL games, “Madden NFL” Series and the NBA Live Series are all produced by EA.
Right now, all of these sports are more world widely recognized by the general public and for the UFC to continue their strive past “mainstream” and into worldwide recognition with a major video game deal should definitely be seen as a huge accomplishment and a big step.
Being sort of a gamer myself, (if you could call me that!) my problem with the UFC games developed by THQ is that they were to arcade-like. If there is one way to get to our audiences right now in terms of education on the sport is not with a company that develops these games similar to the Street Fighter franchise and one that teaches fans on the technical aspects of the sport because believe it or not, most fans don’t really understand mixed martial arts today. I hear boo’s every time a fight goes to the ground at UFC events! It will be effective for EA to use their signature realism in forms of a video game to simulate what the actual sport is like.
UFC Fighters Cain Velasquez (10-1 MMA 8-1 UFC) and Vitor Belfort (21- 9 MMA 8-5 UFC) look like they have already been called up by EA Sports for their faces for the next game. When Velasquez’s wife, Michelle tweeted:
With Vitor Belfort also sharing his experience:
ProFightingFans.com Staff Writer