Electronic Arts have today announced that they’ve bought the license to make computer games based on the UFC brand.
THQ, makers of the ‘UFC Undisputed’ series and ‘UFC Personal Trainer’ title have agreed to transfer the license to EA in what’s believed to be a “multi-year, multi-product” deal.
The UFC games will now join other blockbuster EA Sports titles such as Madden, Tiger Woods, FIFA, NBA Live and the boxing based ‘Fight Night’ franchise.
In a press release UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said, “Over the last three years, THQ has delivered best-in-class, all-encompassing experiences to MMA fans, sports enthusiasts and fighting gamers around the globe with its UFC Undisputed™ series. We want to thank them for their stewardship of our brand. We look forward to joining forces with EA to leverage their sports platform, and expand our brand in the video game space.”
“We’re thrilled to begin a long-term partnership that will bring fans incredibly authentic, and deeply connected, UFC video games,” EA Sports president Andrew Wilson stated.
“UFC has become a global powerhouse because they have the world’s best fighters, competing in the world’s best mixed martial arts events. We share UFC’s passion for the sport, and we look forward to capturing all of the intensity and excitement of the action with unique new game experiences across a range of platforms.”
Of course this is not EA’s first foray into the world of mixed martial arts as they have previously released the ‘EA Sports MMA’ title in 2010 which drew it’s roster from organization’s like Strikeforce and DREAM, but though it met with critical acclaim the fact that it didn’t have the UFC’s brand name and fighters meant that it proved to be a sales flop.
Those with longer memories may remember that UFC president Dana White has actually had bad blood with EA in the past, stating that they were his first port of call before THQ when they first had the idea to make a gaming title based on the sport, but according to him the company weren’t interested.
He then noted that they only really suddenly sat up and took notice after the first ‘UFC Undisputed 2009’ title made by THQ exceeded expectations, selling millions of copies worldwide.
White was in attendance today on stage however at the E3 expo along with EA to announce the new deal however so it would appear that he’s now buried the hatchet with the company.
Overall today’s deal is very good news for the UFC, aligning themselves with one of the biggest and best known companies in the business with a proven track record of delivering globally successful and long-running sports titles.