With the world of MMA branching out to many aspects of pop culture, the UFC Undisputed series of video games has planted the flag for MMA in the video game culture. While there have been previous MMA games including the UFC and Pride fighting organizations, UFC Undisputed was both a critical and sales darling.
However with last year’s release of UFC Undisputed 2009, the world of MMA fully broke into the world of video games. The cutting edge game finally was able to fully capture the world of MMA in video game form. Its intuitive controls and presentation made the game as authentic as possible for MMA fans and non fans.
A year later, the release of UFC Undisputed 2010 makes the release of an annual mma game a standard in video games. The upcoming release of EA sports rival title, MMA should only make the world of MMA even more competitive in the gaming culture.
The rivalry between these two game series can only bring good things for MMA in video games. The brief rivalry between the Madden series and the NFL 2K series made both series great as the competition between them made them both try and outdo each other. In addition, baseball games thrived when the MVP baseball series and the MLB 2K series competed with one another for baseball supremacy.
Dana White’s threat to cut any UFC fighter that would appear in the EA MMA title was good press for both games of the series. The apparent bad blood between Dana White and EA Sports is good for video games and good for MMA. While White eventually backed off the threat to cut any of his fighters, the animosity for the series was put front and center for MMA fans and non fans. The added notoriety for EA Sports MMA will lead to greater interest in the title.
The clear advantage for UFC is that they have a more known roster. The biggest names of the sports are in UFC Undisputed. Non MMA fans or newcomers will probably recognize more of the names in UFC Unleashed than the other game. EA Sports MMA has big names though such as Fedor Emelianenko, the former pound for pound heavyweight in the world and one of the Expendables, Randy Couture. The fighters of StrikeForce and former UFC fighters will make more MMA fighters known across the world. While it is disappointing for both games to have separate and different rosters, it’s good for the variety of the sport. The added incentive of wanting to play as a certain fighter will compel gamers to play both games.
The lower sales projection of UFC Undisputed shows that the gamers may not be willing to shell out $60 for a roster update. THQ attributes the low sales due to the release of Red Dead Redemption that took plenty of sales from the series. This could lead to gamers realizing that they do not have to pay for a yearly roster update. Madden still generates massive revenue but it truly hasn’t changed the football game. EA Sports MMA needs to come out swinging at launch in order to sway UFC fans towards their side. The sport of MMA needs both games to do well to generate more interest in the sport.
As much as it’s good for UFC being the preeminent MMA game, it needs EA Sports MMA to push it. The competition between the two series is essential for MMA to succeed on the video game platform. The competition between the two is necessary for success as both games will vie for MMA and non MMA fans for being the preeminent MMA game in the world.
In the bout between UFC Undisputed and EA Sports MMA, there are no losers.