EA Halts Next-Gen Fight Night In Favor Of UFC
Former undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson told ESPN earlier this month that today's boxers couldn't hold a candle to Mixed Martial Arts fighters and it looks like EA agrees.
Speaking with IGN, EA Sports head Andrew Wilson said that UFC is its focus more than creating a next-gen Fight Night at the moment.
"Right now, a great portion of the core of the Fight Night team are actually the team that are building UFC," sad Wilson.
According to Wilson, the team is "really dedicated and focused on UFC" and has an "amazing understanding of the pugilistic arts."
This is a straight reverse from using the Playstation 3 announcement at E3 2005 to premier what would eventually become Fight Night Round 3. Ironically, Fight Night Round 3 ended up being released on Microsoft's Xbox 360 before Sony's console was even released. EA used Microsoft's Xbox One reveal this week to demonstrate how a UFC game could potentially look on its next-gen Ignite engine along with Madden, NBA Live, and FIFA Soccer.
EA acquired the UFC rights from THQ last year after releasing its own EA Sports MMA for Sony and Microsoft's current gen consoles title in 2010. Though gaining fair reviews, EA Sports MMA sold poorly with only 45,000 in first month sales. UFC president Dana White accused EA Sports of passing up the franchise in 2009 and questioning its athletic merit before THQ gained the rights according to MMA Junkie. This led to a nasty public feud between the two.
"EA Sports told us, 'you're not a real sport," said White. "We wouldn't touch this thing, We want nothing to do with this."
THQ would release its last MMA title, UFC Undisputed 3, in early February of last year before filing for bankruptcy and selling off various properties to different publishers.