EA Announces New Fighters for MMA Video Game

EA MMA Video Game ScreenshotThe MMA video game wars started to heat up over the last few days. The UFC unveiled its first video look at the new UFC Undisputed 2010 with a May release date. EA Sports countered with an online ceremony revealing new fighters for their MMA video game. If EA’s counter was any indication as to how this war will play out, they may as well tap out before it gets ugly.

I sat online for an hour Tuesday in EA Sports’ live online chat and watched them announce fighters like they were announcing a Pro Bowl roster. The news started off with Cung Le who is a great fighter, but no surprise. The chat continued as producers would reveal a fighter with an intro video. By the end of the ceremony, I probably had less interest in playing this game than I ever had. Try and contain yourself as here are the additional roster names as revealed Tuesday by EA Sports;

Cung Le
Nick Thompson
Robbie Lawler
Scott Smith
Matt Lindland
Gilbert Melendez
Ronaldo Souza

Man, I can’t wait to recreate that Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith Elite XC series! These names join the already confirmed roster on EA’s website of;

Brett Rogers
Jake Shields
Frank Shamrock
Fedor Emelianenko
Randy Couture
Jason Miller
Renato Sobral
Gegard Mousasi
King Mo
Jay Hieron

As a longtime EA Sports fan, I was really looking forward to this game. However, if yesterday is any indication as to how this war is going to play out I think EA is in way over their heads here. I have no doubt that EA can produce a better game in the end. Yet, it looks like they will have an incredibly hard time marketing their game of subpar fighters against a UFC game that will feature Brock Lesnar, BJ Penn, Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, Tito Ortiz, Forrest Griffin, Rampage Jackson, and Chuck Liddell to just name a few.

Additionally, there are unconfirmed reports that the EA MMA video game will not be released until mid-late September 2010. THQ and the UFC have a firm date of May 25, 2010 as a release date for UFC Undisputed 2010. It appeared that EA had been working longer on their game with a May release in mind. EA will now already be at a huge disadvantage by releasing their game four months later. On top of that, EA will be releasing Madden, NHL 11, NBA Live, and possibly Fight Night 5 all around the same time. EA’s biggest competitor here could very well be EA Sports themselves.

I think the next time EA promotes a big fight announcement day they should announce someone other than Elite XC and Strikeforce fighters. There are still fighters out there that could excite MMA fans. Dan Henderson is likely tied up to UFC Undisputed 2010 so I don’t expect him here. However, there are plenty of MMA legends like Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, and Dan Severn that UFC Undisputed gamers were clamoring for. Even though most casual MMA fans aren’t familiar with DREAM fighters, EA could have put together a nice video package and introduced some of their Japanese fighters into the game. I just expected a heck of a lot more than the obvious names. Hell, Josh Barnett would have been a nice surprise at this point.

At this point it really just comes down to whether you want to play a Strikeforce MMA video game or a UFC video game. UFC Undisputed gamers wasted no time posting formulas to create Randy and Fedor for the last game. I wouldn’t be shocked if gamers find it almost too easy to create realistic versions of each fighter in the next game. Other than Randy and Fedor, there are no appealing fighters in the EA MMA game that would prompt me to choose it over UFC Undisputed at this point.

There is a reason nobody ran out to create a UFL game to compete with Madden. EA is about to learn that the hard way unless something changes quickly.

Pre-order the EA Sports: MMA Video Game featuring Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko by clicking here.

To purchase UFC Undisputed 2009 for the Playstation 3 , click here.

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