Yesterday, word spread that a UK fight magazine had fixed EA Sports MMA's release to September. I emailed the magazine to make sure that claim wasn't misattributed. Fighting Spirit Magazine sticks by it, and offers more details.
We don't have permission to reprint the article in its entirety, but having seen it, I can confirm that what was posted in the EA Sports Forums is on the level. FSM also sources the September release claim back to within Electronic Arts (the article references "our moles at EA" on another detail) but can't get any more specific than that.
That's the inside-baseball portion. To recap, here's what you can expect from EA Sports MMA when it releases:
• Deals with other MMA promotions, in addition to the announced Strikeforce deal, are "highly likely, including at least one of the big Japanese groups." FSM says one unannounced top fighter "regularly competes in Sengoku [Raiden Championship, aka World Victory Road]."
• Venues including both rings and cages. FSM says EA's on the fence about whether restarts will be included for ring fights. (It "might make for jarring gameplay," the article says.)
• Pride-style rules in addition to standard Unified Rules.
• The ability to fight left- or right-handed, execute foot stomps and fight on the cage, with deeper clinchwork and countering. These mechanics go deeper than the limitations of UFC Undisputed 2009.
• As for gameplay, the right analog will be your striking control, with the left trigger as the kick modifier.
One other unrelated development: The following fighters were confirmed for the title today: Cung Le, Josh Thomson, Robbie Lawler, Scott Smith, Matt Lindland, Gilbert Melendez, and Ronaldo Souza.
EA Sports, yesterday, no commented when we asked if that September 2010 claim is any good. That does not mean it is, of course. But it sounds like they're trying to pack a lot into this title, so keep that in mind.