Electronic Arts held a press conference today in San Jose, California to announce that Randy Couture will co-headline EA Sports MMA alongside Fedor Emelianenko.
“I have been a part of MMA for over 10 years and I am excited about the global visibility that a game like EA SPORTS MMA will bring to the sport,” said Randy Couture. “Like my fighting career, I look forward to taking on all comers in EA SPORTS MMA.”
Jay Hieron was also announced for the game. He joins Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Gegard Mousasi along with Randy and Fedor as official participants for the game. EA is still looking for additional fighters for the roster.
EA Sports president Peter Moore also took a moment to talk to Sherdog about Dana White’s and Lorenzo Fertitta’s claims that EA told them MMA wasn’t a real sport and they wanted nothing to do it.
Moore said he was not with the organization when the meeting with Zuffa LLC, the UFC’s parent company, occurred. Moore later told Sherdog.com that he could not find a current EA employee who had sat in on the meeting, but voiced his skepticism that the game company had spoken negatively about the sport.
“I actually can probably tell you that I’m sure wasn’t the case, but I wasn’t working for Electronic Arts at the time,” said Moore. “For whatever (reason), my friends at the UFC want to purport to be the situation, that really doesn’t matter now.”
“We’re no seeing any pushback from any outside influences in regards (to) people influencing fighters not to be in the game,” said Moore. “If we believe the quality of the fighter is there, that they’re actually going to help us build on authenticity, we’ll certainly sign them up.
“We have nothing but the greatest respect for what Dana (White) has done with the UFC, but he doesn’t own the sport,” continued Moore. “We want to grow the sport.”
EA Sports MMA is still slated for a 2010 release, but it’s sounding like it will be more towards the end of year as EA stated they’re “still a long ways away.” Assuming they ship it in 2010, the next iteration won’t be due until 2012 since EA will be alternating it with releases of the Fight Night series each year.