EA announced during E3 that an all-new fighting title is in development at EA Tiburon in Orlando, under the EA SPORTSTM brand. EA SPORTS MMA will be available in 2010 on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system and the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system.
EA MMA coming in 2010
EA SPORTS MMA will feature the most authentic, intense and broad mixed martial arts experience to date – complete with a vast array of top fighters and fighting styles from around the world. “With Fight Night Round 4 set to deliver a knockout with industry-leading visuals and genre-defining gameplay later this month, I couldn’t be more excited to announce the expansion of our combat sports strategy with EA SPORTS MMA coming in 2010,” said EA SPORTS President Peter Moore. “Fans have been begging EA SPORTS to get into the cage, and EA SPORTS MMA will put them in control of the sport’s unique combat experience while finally, in an immersive interactive experience, capturing the raw intensity that has made mixed martial arts one of the fastest growing sports in the world. We’re ready for the fight.”
So its nice to see EA jump into the cage but by allowing THQ to get there first they have put themselves at a disadvantage. The recent UFC 2009 Undisputed was a huge success for both UFC and THQ. The game very effectively captured the energy of the real sport and because of that it has been a success with both fans and the media alike. This means that any title that EA brings to market has to be as good if not better than Undisputed and if it isn’t then it would have to be seen as nothing short of a failure in our opinion. There is also the issue of licensing and THQ has the exclusive UFC license through 2011, which is by far the most recognizable MMA brand in the United States.
If anyone can take on a title as good as Undisputed, it’s EA
So where does that leave EA, well they could go with some other smaller MMA organization but the problem is brand recognition. As I said earlier, UFC is the most recognizable MMA brand in the United States and if you ask a lot of the people that bought Undisputed they only know who a few of the fighters are such as Chuck Liddell, Brock Lesnar, Rampage Jackson, and Forest Griffin, the latter of which reached mainstream through his participation in Spike’s “The Ultimate Fighter”. That somewhat mainstream exposure that UFC gets from that platform made the introduction and subsequent success of a UFC game title that much more probable. The bottom line is that whoever EA goes with they won’t have those things on their side and with a sport that has stars that very few game buyers can recognize will make it that much more difficult.
With all that said though, Electronic Arts is never to be taken lightly and if anyone has the money and the resources to make a title that will rival UFC 2009 Undisputed then they are definitely the people I would bet it, but the deck isn’t stacked in their favor right now.
For more information about EA SPORTS MMA, log onto www.easportsmma.com.