EA’s announcement of EA Sports MMA at E3 earlier this week has left a lot of people wondering if the game can be successful without the UFC brand attached to it. That remains to be seen, but MMA Payout found this interview with EA CEO Peter Moore addressing that very question.
CL: So what kind of complications does that create when you’ve got a league that’s almost synonymous with the sport in the way people say Coke instead of soda or Kleenex instead of tissue?
PM: For years, Konami challenged us with Pro Evo Soccer, with no licenses in some countries and a mix of generic and semi-licensed product and did it on gameplay. We’ve come back hard and started to dominate soccer. I don’t see any reason why we can’t build a challenger to the UFC license game. I recently attended a Strike Force card in San Jose — 14,000 people, Showtime covering it live. UFC is an important part of the overall MMA scene, but there’s room for a company like ourselves to come in and grow the overall pie. THQ probably would relish some competition because it would put even more spotlight on the sport.
CL: Have you guys taken a look at the THQ game to try and get a sense of what you can improve upon and get a leg up on the competition?
PM: This is the latest in a number of UFC games. Our team that has been assembled that is working on this is made up of MMA fans. They get the sport, they’re inside the culture, a number of them on the team train for it. We’ve also worked retroactively on the game. And yes, of course when the game shipped from THQ, we got the game, tore it apart to find what it should be and finding where we can make a difference. It won’t work shipping our own version of Undisputed.
Moore believes not having the UFC license is not a barrier to entry, and the committment they’re making to the game is long-term. Without the UFC brand name to help drive sales, they’ll certainly have to make up for that by producing a high quality product with better game play, physics, etc, if they want it to be successful. However, with EA’s vast resources that goal is undoubtedly obtainable.
Personally, I really like Undisputed, but the game is not without it’s faults, so I’m definitely excited to see what EA comes up with next year.
As for playable characters in the game, there isn’t anymore news so to speak, however, part of Fedor Emelianenko’s and Gegard Mousasi’s US tour this past week was to participate in a photoshoot for the game. Just sayin’…