EA: MMA franchise will continue

Fighting game due a sequel despite low sales and analyst's "DOA" claim

Publisher EA has confirmed plans to continue its young MMA franchise, even in face of analyst concerns about its health.

Cowen & Company's Doug Creutz claimed in October that "EA's recently released MMA appears to be more or less DOA at retail."

He also argued that THQ's more successful UFC license was "likely putting an end to EA's efforts to expand into the mixed martial arts genre."

The first MMA debuted at 23 in the UK all-formats chart and is estimated to have sold 45,000 copies in the US over its first month. However, EA seems determined to continue with the license. "There is definitely going to be an EA Sports MMA 2," EA Sports' Jeff Ecker told wrestling site Figure Four Daily, referring to it as a matter of when rather than if.

Latest comments (5)

Chris Rowe Producer, Capcom Vancouver7 years ago
Great news for MMA fans and the guys over at EA Tiburon.

As a big fan of the original, I'm excited to see how they improve the gameplay and overall product.
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Paul Erickson Senior Analyst, IHS7 years ago
A case could be made that the first never got its fair shake, partially because EA basically rushed it to market in response to seeing the first few weeks (May 09) of UFC Undisputed sales versus Fight Night R4. (though, yes, there had been some preliminary work done before that point) Accordingly, the E3 2009 annoucement of EA MMA was uncharacteristically threadbare. No screenshots, no gameplay, no announcement of signed fighters or franchises, just basically logo, background, and PR-speak. They had to hammer to get the thing out by Q4 2010 to make the holiday buying season.

So honestly I'm looking positively at seeing what the next iteration will offer now that they have some time to stretch their legs and really work.
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Jason Chen Localization Manager, Gamania Digital Entertainment7 years ago
EA's management have to understand the term "Quality", just because the game doesn't crash(don't know if this game crashes or not, haven't played it) means it has good "quality". Give your dev team the time and effort they need to make it a better game! or EA needs a new dev team to get the job done!
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game7 years ago
I have not played this game, as it's not my thing, but most of the critical reviews I've seen have been very positive (metascore of 79, no negative and only a few average reviews) , and of user reviews, most of the negitive ones seem purely fixated on the lack of UFC fighters. Most of the others agree it is exceptional.
That does not sound like a game of low quality due to being rushed.
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Paul Erickson Senior Analyst, IHS7 years ago
It takes the genre in some interesting directions but some of the mechanics need work. The biggest issue is that without the UFC license it needs to be scoring in the 90's to break out. In many markets the UFC *IS* MMA in the public mindset. EA has zero brand in MMA, a completely different genre than they have ever played in. Basic strategy. If you are going to attack someone with an established franchise and the strongest brand in the genre, and you have zero brand in the genre, do not go head to head on price, for one. Especially in a down economy. People are not going to pay top ticket for EA MMA when they can pick up UFC Undisputed 2010 for less. EA overestimated the power of their brand in a new genre they have no experience in. Too much profit seeking... if you want to penetrate the brand against established competition be aggressive in pricing, promos, and bundling.

This is separate from saying they have a lousy game. It is a great first outing and innovative in a number of ways. But has a long way to go to doing THQ/UFC numbers.

Basically it's a strategic gaffe by EA that may never be overcome. They had first shot at the UFC license way back, pre-Peter Moore, and they snubbed it and the sport in general. THQ took the risk and the rest is history. EA could have also started its MMA franchise years ago, with a more MMA-friendly Moore at the helm, but also declined to do so. Seemingly they only fully jumped in when seeing the NPD weeklies of UFC Undisputed's sales, and shoehorned an MMA game on top of the FNR4 engine.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Erickson on 13th December 2010 6:23pm

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