It was a long time coming and it seemed for several years that it was never going to happen, but now EA Sports is “thrilled” to have signed a deal with the UFC to produce a video game version of the top MMA league.
Electronic Arts has today officially confirmed the weekend’s reports that it has a licensing agreement with Zuffa LLC to produce and distribute videogames bearing the Ultimate Fighting Championship brand.
The new multi-year, multi-product partnership will provide EA the exclusive rights to develop UFC videogames, which will be developed and marketed under the EA SPORTS brand.
“We’re thrilled to begin a long-term partnership that will bring fans incredibly authentic, and deeply connected, UFC videogames,” said Andrew Wilson, EVP and Head of EA SPORTS.
“UFC has become a global powerhouse because they have the world’s best fighters, competing in the world’s best mixed martial arts events. We share UFC’s passion for the sport, and we look forward to capturing all of the intensity and excitement of the action with unique new game experiences across a range of platforms.”
Zuffa has licensed to EA the UFC rights previously held by THQ, Inc. (THQI).
“We’d like to thank THQ for creating some of the most critically-acclaimed sports videogames of this console generation, and we’re excited to enter a new relationship with EA that will help us deepen our connection with fighting fans around the world,” said UFC President Dana White.
“There’s no one better at creating authentic sports videogames than EA SPORTS, and we’re excited to have a partner who shares our vision of deep, connected and multi-platform global game experiences.”
“We’ve relished our relationship with UFC over the last several years and believe that the UFC gaming brand is in great shape. THQ’s more focused strategy moving forward meant that transferring the license to EA made sense to all parties,” said THQ CEO Brian Farrell.
“We’d like to thank the UFC for their great support and partnership and wish EA all the best moving forward.”
EA SPORTS is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world and has numerous top-selling videogame franchises including the NFL, NBA, FIFA soccer and more.
Its stature in the world of sporting videogames is encapsulated by its catchphrase “EA Sports - Its in the game!” For many fans, the involvement of EA Sports is almost a stamp of legitimacy on mixed martial arts as a sport, and the online fan base appears to be buoyant about news of the partnership.