E3 gave us quite a few surprises last month but one that resonated greatly was the announcement that the UFC franchise was jumping ship to EA. Such news was interesting since it was yet another sign of THQ’s potential doom and also because of the apparent bad blood there was between EA and UFC honcho Dana White. But in the world of business even bitter feelings can be pushed aside for the greater good that is pleasing the fans and earning a huge profit in the process as UFC is now part of the EA Sports family.
EA didn’t say much about the arrival of UFC when the initial announcement was made at E3 last month, but today the company has revealed which studio will be handling the project. Surprisingly enough we won’t be greeted with a reskinned version of EA Sports MMA as EA Tiburon won’t be handling the debut UFC game. Instead, EA has revealed that the core Fight Night team up at EA Canada will be crafting the first EA produced UFC experience.
Learning that the team behind Fight Night Champion is producing the new UFC game kind of has me with mixed feelings. On one hand I’m confident in the Fight Night team that the UFC game will be polished, but I also don’t want the fundamentals of what EA Tiburon did with EA Sports MMA to be completely thrown away. While flawed in a few areas, EA Sports MMA did deliver an experience that could compete with the UFC games from THQ and in my opinion could’ve immediately eclipsed those offerings if certain things were refined.
The team at EA Canada know how to make one hell of a boxing game so I just hope they tap into those creative juices and either don’t overthink things too much (imagine the horrendous control possibilities) and focus on giving a focused experience that makes us feel like a MMA fighter; or at least make a 6’4 250lb out of shape guy with a neckbeard such as myself feel like a physically chiseled warrior.
A release date for the new UFC game, hopefully not titled something dumb like UFC Live, hasn’t been announced but will likely debut on half a dozen consoles in the latter half of 2013.