Analyst Predicts EA Sports Will Drop MMA

Analyst Predicts EA Sports Will Drop MMA

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A financial analyst thinks that EA will probably not make another MMA game due to the poor sales of its first offering.

When THQ's UFC 2009 Undisputed sold well, EA decided to enter the mix in 2010 with EA Sports MMA, developed by its Tiburon studio. But as Doug Creutz, an analyst at Cowen & Company, points out, the poor sales of EA Sports MMA and the superiority of THQ's sequel UFC 2010 Undisputed remaining, ahem, undisputed, EA will probably leave well enough alone and not make another MMA game.

"EA's recently released MMA appears to be more or less DOA [dead on arrival] at retail, while UFC recently announced an extension of its license with THQ, likely putting an end to EA's efforts to expand into the mixed martial arts genre," Creutz said this morning.

Creutz referred to an agreement between THQ and UFC inked last week which will allow more cooperation between the two companies. The deal is further evidence that UFC is THQ's Madden, as THQ Core Games VP Danny Bilson said in a recent interview.

EA dropped the ball on a game based on the popular sport of mixed martial arts competition. Dana White, president of the most popular MMA league, United Fighting Championship (UFC), tried to pitch a videogame based on his sport but EA told him to piss off. "EA Sports told us, 'You're not a real sport,'" White said. "'We wouldn't touch this thing. We want nothing to do with this.'"

It's not clear whether the poor sales of MMA was the result of UFC's Dana White declaring that he is "at war" with EA, or his threat against fighters appearing in EA's game being barred from UFC, but it's probably a good assumption. It's just not fun to fight as guys you've never heard of, and while UFC is not the only MMA league out there, it has many of the most popular fighters. Making a videogame without UFC's blessing is like making a football game without the NFL license. Such a game is just not going to do well.

Perhaps EA should have had greenlit the game when they had the chance instead of insulting White's sport.

Source: CVG and MMA Junkie

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Heh. EA fucked up good passing that license up.

I think they'll drop it.

Eh. Don't care about guys beating each other up. Hey THQ, less of that, more Saints Row 3.

It's Ultimate Fighting Championship not united. On topic I played the demo and I think that the reason it failed was the crappy controls using the right analog stick to strike and having the buttons be delayed.

I agree on needing to get more Saint's Row out there.

That said, I have mixed opinions on the entire MMA video game idea. When it comes to using real fighters it leads to all kinds of arguements about the stats and whether someone should be able to take a relatively unsuccessful fighter and be able to use him to pound the living crud out of the current champion or whatever. The inclusion of guys like Chuck Liddel who are popular but not doing all that well are subjects of debate when it comes to using real people.

When it comes to generic guys, I can see why that is a problem to some extent, but then again fighting games have been being produced about "underground fighting circuits" for a long time, and with a bit of creativity a successful franchise can be launched by playing up the whole fantasy aspect if they do it well.

The problem with MMA though is that as time as gone on it's become incredibly standardized. It's not like the old days when there were no weight classes, and little in the way of rules. You saw all kinds of crazy stuff that just doesn't fly today. I think part of the problem is that it HAS become a sport, and less about actual fighting.

Making games about that represents a problem because you typically see movesets for a handfull of popular styles, and then everyone and everything in the game uses those same moves. To me this makes for a rather dull fighting game, even when using real people they lack the personality of fighting game franchises where every character has differant moves and ways of doing things. In say watching the (now defeated) Brock Lesner fight, he looks very distinctive when fighting against other heavyweights, even ones with the same basic backround that he has. I just don't get that from the UFC games.

With the new "MMA" series I think they copied too much from undisputed and had a great oppetunity to build in a lot more personality, but it wasn't really exploited. From what I've seen you have limited options, and a Muay Thai guy is a Muay Thai guy is a Muay Thai guy. You select that style it's the same accross the board. It's like having a fighting game with only 6 differant characters no matter how many people are listed on the roster, or how detailed a "create a fighter" mode is.

Such are my thoughts.

CNKFan:
It's Ultimate Fighting Championship not united. On topic I played the demo and I think that the reason it failed was the crappy controls using the right analog stick to strike and having the buttons be delayed.

ninjad con sarn it!

agree, i was never a fan of fight nights right analogue flickyness to do (what should be) hard, impactful manoeuvres, and it was just as bad with EA MMA

Therumancer:
with a bit of creativity a successful franchise can be launched by playing up the whole fantasy aspect if they do it well.

agreed, i had a lot of fun with def jam vendetta and fight for new york.

Greg Tito:

EA dropped the ball on a game based on the popular sport of mixed martial arts competition. Dana White, president of the most popular MMA league, United Fighting Championship (UFC), tried to pitch a videogame based on his sport but EA told him to piss off. "EA Sports told us, 'You're not a real sport,'" White said. "'We wouldn't touch this thing. We want nothing to do with this.'"

That's not entirely true. Dana White had a meeting with EA in LA, the branch of EA who make The Sims, not EA Sport who are, for all intents and purposes, a separate entity to those who make The Sims. It's not surprising that the makers of The Sims didn't want to have anything to do with the UFC... there's hardly a strong overlap between fans of the two.

From all accounts, EA Sport knew nothing of the meeting until Dana White started publicly complaining about their supposed response.

I don't think that EA Sport dropped the ball at all, since they are much more suited to making a MMA game that represents the entire global sport, rather than being forced into making an exclusive and heavily restricted game for only one division of it. For example, their Madden games are about the entire NFL, not EA Sports: Denver Broncos Football Game, their Fight Night series features boxers from multiple leagues, not just one, and the soccer game EA Sport's make is FIFA, not The FA Premiership Soccer game.

I think it's premature to assume that EA MMA is doomed by comparing the sales of a game that has only been out for a week (and launched at the same time as Fallout New Vegas) to the sales of 2 games that have been out since 2009.

Most of the people (and fans of the sport) who have played the game think it's a better MMA game than THQ's efforts, I'm sure sales will pick up once word gets around, unlike UFC: 2010 which apparently has a 60-70% return rate.

Most MMA fans do know who the fighters are, since EA MMA's roster features a lot more well known and popular fighters for fans of the global sport, it's only people who have been spoon fed their knowledge of MMA by Zuffa, who only took an interest in the sport when the UFC's reality TV show aired that don't recognise it's stars and the sport as a whole.

I think saying the EA MMA isn't a good a MMA game as THQ's UFC games because it doesn't feature any "popular" fighters is like NASCAR fans saying that Gran Turismo 5 isn't a good a driving game as NASCAR 09 because they don't recognise most of the cars and tracks.

Jamash:

Most MMA fans do know who the fighters are, since EA MMA's roster features a lot more well known and popular fighters for fans of the global sport, it's only people who have been spoon fed their knowledge of MMA by Zuffa, who only took an interest in the sport when the UFC's reality TV show aired that don't recognise it's stars and the sport as a whole.

Yeah.

Fedor is in the game and that already makes the roster superior to the UFC outing XD.

The Demo alone put me off. The controls sucks and it's crap. Not a chance for me.

It's the same analyst that suggested Activision should buy Rock Band. Enough said, I think.

EA Sports: MMA? Never heard of it.

What a fail that was.

Jamash:
That's not entirely true. Dana White had a meeting with EA in LA, the branch of EA who make The Sims, not EA Sport who are, for all intents and purposes, a separate entity to those who make The Sims. It's not surprising that the makers of The Sims didn't want to have anything to do with the UFC... there's hardly a strong overlap between fans of the two.

Well hell, if EA claimed it after being made to look like MMA bandwagoners then it must be true! Back here in the real world, Lorenzo Fertitta has said he met with EA Sports. I'll take his word over both Dana White's and EA's.

Jamash:
I don't think that EA Sport dropped the ball at all, since they are much more suited to making a MMA game that represents the entire global sport, rather than being forced into making an exclusive and heavily restricted game for only one division of it. For example, their Madden games are about the entire NFL, not EA Sports: Denver Broncos Football Game, their Fight Night series features boxers from multiple leagues, not just one, and the soccer game EA Sport's make is FIFA, not The FA Premiership Soccer game.

1. EA Sports MMA in fact doesn't 'represent the entire global sport.' The only notable promotion it contains is Strikeforce, which is barely even national. Strikeforce has held more than half of their events in California. None have been held outside the United States.

2. Undisputed in fact does 'represent the entire global sport.' The UFC has 99% of all relevant fighters, and is the only international MMA organization, with events held in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and Oceania.

3. Madden in fact only represent a single league: the NFL. They don't include the CFL or other international football leagues. Your single franchise analogy also fails, since every fighter is the equivalent of their own franchise. A football game with one team would be like a fighting game with one fighter.

Jamash:
I think it's premature to assume that EA MMA is doomed by comparing the sales of a game that has only been out for a week (and launched at the same time as Fallout New Vegas) to the sales of 2 games that have been out since 2009.

You'd be right if analysts were morons and only compared raw numbers, but they aren't and they don't. They compare things that are actually comparable, like opening weekends in the movie industry. The numbers are good; EA's game got whooped.

Jamash:
Most of the people (and fans of the sport) who have played the game think it's a better MMA game than THQ's efforts.

No they don't. Sherdog is the only MMA media outlet paying much attention to EA's game, and that's because they're being paid to mix journalism and advertising by EA. This is exactly why nobody takes Sherdog seriously.

Jamash:
I'm sure sales will pick up once word gets around, unlike UFC: 2010 which apparently has a 60-70% return rate.

I'd ask for a source, but we both know you're either grossly distorting worthless anecdotal data or just plain making this up.

Jamash:
Most MMA fans do know who the fighters are, since EA MMA's roster features a lot more well known and popular fighters for fans of the global sport, it's only people who have been spoon fed their knowledge of MMA by Zuffa, who only took an interest in the sport when the UFC's reality TV show aired that don't recognise it's stars and the sport as a whole.

And here we have the silly elitism of the TUFer pretending he's been watching since UFC 1. Nobody's buying it. If you were a real fan of the sport you'd know how irrelevant fighters like Overeem and Aoki are. There are only two or three guys outside the UFC, like Melendez, who would be competitive at the highest level. Guys like Alvarez and Mousasi could hack in the UFC, sure, but they'd never be champions.

Jamash:
I think saying the EA MMA isn't a good a MMA game as THQ's UFC games because it doesn't feature any "popular" fighters is like NASCAR fans saying that Gran Turismo 5 isn't a good a driving game as NASCAR 09 because they don't recognise most of the cars and tracks.

Would you buy Madden if it had no NFL teams or players? No? Exactly. You really need to work on these analogies.

Wow, never even heard of this game's existence, so not surprised it did poorly. EA really has been on a losing streak lately with its new IPs. Sure hope this doesn't progress into next year, with the release Star Wars: The Old Republic.

 

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