Electronic Arts perhaps didn’t know what to expect with the release of its first MMA title using an enhanced version of the latest Fight Night 4 engine. The reviews were very good and the title had a strong buzz, but the sales apparently didn’t materialize.
While rumors circulated regarding EA pulling the plug on future titles in the MMA franchise it was trying to establish, word now comes from Jeff Ecker that there will be an EA Sports MMA 2; and it is really just a question of when it will happen.
The original plan was for MMA title to establish itself this year and then alternate years with the Fight Night franchise. While that still could happen, it is more likely to see the next MMA title to arrive in 2013 while EA attempts to regroup to figure out the best way to move the MMA franchise forward.
While many point at the lack of UFC branding and fighters as the major problem with the title, it would seem this might be only part of the problem. THQ didn’t have much luck with the release of its UFC 2010 offering and sales were flat on it, as well. With the high sales of the first UFC 2009 release from THQ, some analysts we spoke with believe that the timing was just too close to the release of the UFC 2009 title; and timing will be important for the future success of these MMA titles while they establish their own market space.
While the news that EA isn’t giving up on the MMA franchise is good to hear, it will be a long wait till 2013 if that is when we see the next MMA title from EA. Maybe with additional time, however, the market will change and they will be able to gain rights to more fights, and buyers will be ready for something different.