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.