Yesterday at E3 EA Sports announced they would be making the next UFC game. In order to do this they purchased the license from THQ.
The Shock Factor: Dana White has said for years that EA will never make a UFC game after they famously told him MMA isn’t a real sport. THQ announced earlier this year that they had a new deal in place until 2017 and not too long ago released a game which is quite good in the genre. I suspected that UFC would be the first to go when THQ announced they were undergoing massive cuts, but I only could have hoped it was to EA.
EA MMA: I strongly consider EA MMA to be the best MMA game made, sure they missed some big stuff, like knees from side mount but the foundation was better than THQ’s second try and didn’t have 1/10 of the names on the roster that THQ did. I got rid of UFC when EA MMA came out because it was already better. Of course now that Undisputed 3 came out and ripped off a lot of the elements that made EA better they got the upper hand when paired with name and budget that is spent on a game with the UFC name rather than Strikeforce.
Expectations: I play sports and racing video games so naturally I love EA. I don’t like every game they put out and honestly sometimes I forget I own some of them, so this is not to say EA is the greatest, just my expectations. EA MMA gave the player “Japanese rules” which equates to “Pride rules” over at THQ. Both games also offer a career mode that is in depth, but with the history of EA’s career modes in sports it should be improved greatly. Every place that THQ excelled in can easily be caught by EA and improved upon, quite frankly I’m sick of playing rounds that don’t go 5 minutes and having Featherweights get tired in the first round. Also EA MMA has a better judging system, I vividly recall winning a 3 round fight 30-25 on two judges cards. That means two 10-8 rounds were given by two judges! If EA puts the resources into UFC that they put into NHL or FIFA they can easily have an award winner on their hands straight out of the gate. I’m hoping that we get updated rosters with this game, it’s too common for a MMA game to be made without someone who is on the brink of being a contender and within weeks, or even on release already missing out on a rising star.
Worries: EA said that they would switch from MMA to Boxing yearly after EA MMA. Hopefully this philosophy has changed since October would be 2 full years and would in effect place them in the cycle for Fight Night. This would mean that it will be 2014 until the next UFC game, I don’t believe that EA will let that happen because I’m sure they paid THQ too much money to sit by.