Early last year, EA SPORTS shocked the gaming world with a surprise announcement revealing that EA SPORTS had partnered with UFC and would be producing the next UFC videogame. This announcement was made during an Electronic Arts E3 Press Conference. Shortly afterwards, EA SPORTS announced the Award-Winning Fight Night development team had been selected to develop the new UFC videogame.
What has been most puzzling to fight fans, is the new sports videogame seems to have come to a complete stand still. Nothing much is happening. Supposedly, the UFC development team was to be led by Team and Action Sports General Manager, Dean Richards (Fight Night, NHL, SSX) and Creative Director Brian Hayes.
After leading gameplay design on Fight Night Round 4 and Fight Night Champion, Hayes is now the Creative Director for the Fighting Team at EA SPORTS. He had this to say, when asked about leading the development team for EA SPORTS UFC new videogame, “When we found out that EA and the UFC would be working together, the team was excited. Most of the team didn’t even know about it until the announcement at E3. We were all watching it together and when Andrew Wilson and Dana White took the stage, everybody starting cheering. It was great.”
Several months later and the start of a new year, with no new videogame in site, it seems this new idea and partnership between the two companies may not have gone as smoothly as planned. Rumor has it, because of UFC investors financial shortfall, their license has already been pre-emptively sold to EA SPORTS, but that title has yet to materialize.
Fight Fans are waiting on the next installment of EA SPORTS UFC, but there has been nothing in the news about the new videogame, its release date, final roster, features or platforms. Nothing is clear. One would have thought by now they would have released a teaser video for promotion purposes only—but nothing on that front either.
The biggest problem for their fight fans is waiting on the next installment and the uncertainty it has created for them while they wait. Keep in mind that the new development team selected is still an unproven group. Also, creating a new videogame for the UFC is somewhat of a different beast.
Even though Fight Night 3 and Fight Night 4 sold well, the same doesn’t go for their most recent release Fight Night Champion. It has been adequately a disappointment among fight fans. This has to leave a great deal of uncertainty with EA SPORTS in regards to what direction to take when it comes to these fight videogames.
Things have not been all that stupendous in the Fight World for EA SPORTS, so don’t be surprised if they eliminate one of these sports videogames. Remember, when things start to go silent for any big franchise look for two things: either they’re making big plans for future growth or big plans to downsize. Here in 2013—that coin can fall either way.