Looking back at UFC, and ahead at its New Life

If you are already a fan of mixed-martial arts video games you likely already know about what has happened with the UFC series - so go ahead and skip to the next section of this article. If you are not a fan OR you don't know the story, continue reading, because there is a story here.

The UFC game series has a rich history having been licensed and published by several publishers and studios, and appearing on a variety of platforms.

To fully appreciate the extent of the series' history, let's take a quick look back - and forward - at the UFC games:

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship (Crave Entertainment / Anchor Inc. for Dreamcast / Opus for PlayStation, and Fluid Studios for Game Boy Color) 2000.

  • UFC Throwdown (Crave Entertainment / Genki - Capcom Production Studio 3 for GameCube and PlayStation 2) 2002.

  • UFC Tapout (Crave Entertainment, Capcom & Ubisoft / DreamFactory for Xbox) 2002.

  • UFC: Tapout 2 (TDK Mediactive / DreamFactory for Xbox) 2003.

  • UFC: Sudden Impact (Global Star / Opus for PlayStation 2) 2004.

  • UFC Undisputed 2009 (THQ / Yuke's for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) 2009.
  • UFC Undisputed 2010 (THQ / Yuke's for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PSP, and iOS) 2010.

  • UFC Personal Trainer (THQ / Heavy Iron Studios for PlayStaiton 3, Xbox 360 and Wii) 2011.

  • UFC Undisputed 3 (THQ / Yuke's for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) 2012.

  • EA Sports UFC (EA Sports / EA Canada for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) 2014.
  • [/ul]

    While they first existed as an arcade-style fighting game, it really wasn't until THQ took over that it began to take on the form and format that it has become well-known for. With THQ now defunct - as in no longer in the game publishing business - it seems reasonable that a new publisher would need to be found for the license.

    The fact that the UFC folks decided that new publisher would be EA Sports is itself something of a story or at least an anecdote.

    Here is where things get interesting - because at the height of its financial troubles, THQ was in talks with EA Games about selling EA its license for the UFC game series, which it had paid Zuffa - the UFC parent company - starting in 2007.

    That is interesting for several reasons, not the least of which being that when Zuffa President Dana White originally shopped the idea for the UFC video game to EA, the company declined because at the time they did not consider MMA to be a sport.

    White ended up taking the license to THQ, who set out to make a very successful string of MMA-based UFC licensed titles. Clearly at some point EA has changed its mind on that question, and has decided that MMA is in fact a sport... Now. Which is really good news for gamers!

    The financial troubles at THQ caused the MMA/UFC gamer community genuine concern that the impending bankruptcy could mean the end of the UFC series, but at the 11th hour THQ ended up transferring the UFC license to EA in June of 2012, just six months before THQ declared bankruptcy.

    The license transfer was a complicated deal in which Zuffa ended up paying THQ $10m for the license termination and the UFC Intellectual Property THQ owned, and then handed the license over to EA Sports for undisclosed terms. Any way you look at it, this is great news for fans of the series and sports gamers alike.

    In October 2013 news that THQ had filed suit in federal court over the license transfer terms, seeking additional payment stunned gamers, but it seems that while the suit was accepted by the courts, that could not stop either the development or the release of EA Sports' first new game in the UFC series: EA Sports UFC.

    The end result is that on June 17, 2014, EA Sports UFC will make its long-awaited debut on next gen consoles.

    Looking Forward to EA's UFC

    Fans are understandably excited for the newest title in the UFC series, and not just because there will actually BE a next title in the series.

    The title was developed by the game studio EA Canada, who we should note is best known for its Fight Night boxing video game franchise, and not EA Tiburon, the Florida-based EA development studio that created EA's own MMA game in 2010.

    EA Canada is currently known as the official UFC video game development team, and opted to power the game with EA's brand new proprietary game engine, Ignite.

    The Ignite engine was created to power games for the next-gen platforms, and is capable of improved artificial intelligence behaviors. It features what EA terms its True Player Motion framework system for player movement, and a Living Worlds framework for better crowd mix and interaction.

    The Ignite engine is expected to power most of the major sports games being released by EA in the future, including the FIFA, Madden, and NBA lines, and that being so there is every reason to expect that the new UFC title will sport the same level of near-to-life realism that the other games EA Sports has produced offer.

    Actually we already know that the Ignite engine will sport a lifelike graphical world thanks to early released video that depicts, among other things, a very lifelike Bruce Freaking Lee as a playable character showing off some serious MMA moves!

    Among the already confirmed features of the game is the tie-in with The Ultimate Fighter Reality Show which factors in the career-mode of the game. What do we mean? Well, it turns out that the career mode in the game begins with a player-created fighter who has to work his way into the UFC by competing on The Ultimate Fighter, and how cool is that?

    The fact that your career begins with the UFRS and then progresses to the UFC is one element, another is the career longevity meter that is being introduced into the game.

    Basically that meter will show you the length of your characters potential career - with each fight taking a small amount of the meter away. Once it is all used up, well then so are you.

    That means you are going to want to pick your fights with care, and try to put on the best show that you can because your career is finite, and you want to attract as many fans and as much fame and reputation as you can before it ends.

    The Competition Rosters

    While this is not 100% closed - that is to say other characters may be added either before the game releases or after as DLC, the following rosters (by class) have been confirmed:

    Lightweight : Anthony Pettis, Benson Henderson, Donald Cerrone, Edson Barboza, Gilbert Melendez, Gray Maynard, Jim Miller, Joe Lauzon, Josh Thomson, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Nate Diaz, Ross Pearson, Sam Stout, Terry Etim, and TJ Grant.

    Welterweight : Carlos Condit, Demian Maia, Georges St-Pierre, Jake Ellenberger, Johny Hendricks, Josh Koscheck, Nick Diaz, Martin Kampmann, Pascal Krauss, Robbie Lawler, Rory MacDonald, and Tarec Saffiedine.

    Middleweight : Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman, Costas Philippou, Cung Le, Francis Carmont, Gegard Mousasi, Luke Rockhold, Lyota Machida, Mark Munoz, Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin, Ronaldo Souza, Royce Gracie, and Vitor Belfort.

    Light Heavyweight : Alexander Gustafsson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Chael Sonnen, Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, Daniel Cormier, Forrest Griffin, Glover Teixeira, Jon Jones, Mauricio Rua, Phil Davis, Rashad Evans, Ryan Bader, and Wanderlei Silva.

    Phil Davis

    Heavyweight : Alistair Overeem, Antonio Silva, Cain Velasquez, Fabricio Werdum, Frank Mir, Gabriel Gonzaga, Junior Dos Santos, Mark Hunt, Minotauro Nogueria, Pat Berry, Roy Nelson, and Travis Browne.

    Women's Bantamweight : Alexis Davis, Cat Zingano, Liz Carmouche. Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Sara McMann, and Sarah Kaufman.

    Meisha Tate

    Bruce Lee : As previously noted the character of Bruce Lee is an unlockable playable character in the game, with several ways to obtain him. Gamers who pre-order the game get a code that instantly unlocks him at the start of the game, while those who do not will be able to unlock him by completing the career mode of the game on pro or higher difficulty.

    Bruce Lee Trailer

    An Advanced Taste

    If you can't wait to get your hands on the game, then get your hands on its demo - which you can download on 3 June for PS4 and Xbox One.

    The demo features the player-controlled rematch of UFC 165′s main event -- Alexander Gustafsson vs. UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones -- and how cool is that?

    EA Games UFC will be released on PlayStaiton 4 and Xbox One for $59.99 on June 17, 2014.


    Game Trailer

    Posted: 4th Jun 2014 by CMBF
    EA Sports UFC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3,