Two years ago, EA Sports president Peter Moore called boxing "the past of fighting." Mixed martial arts was the future, with his company hard at work on that game. Thursday, Moore wrote, "let me be clear, boxing's not dead."
Moore also acknowledged the sport "clearly is not the cultural fixture it once was," and is facing "declining interest (and) a lack of bona fide superstars." So this isn't a convenient change of tune on the eve of an anticipated title's release. (In fact, Moore's earlier remark came close to Fight Night Round 4's release.)
But it informs you how and why EA Sports made the decision to introduce Champion Mode, the story-based career in which the player inhabits the persona of a fictitious boxer, in and out of the ring. It forms much of the content that pushed the game into a first-ever Mature rating for EA Sports. The idea for Champion Mode was hatched 18 months ago, Moore said, and it was clearly borne of the necessity to create enthusiasm that has steadily gone stale over the past 15 years.
Moore cited the classic film "Raging Bull" as an inspiration and called attention to this year's "The Fighter." Boxing's glamor and cultural relevance is mostly found in big screen productions today and not pay-per-view, regardless of the purses offered. Sports games take many cues from their live televised presentation. But if a scripted movie is what the general public finds to represent boxing's compelling drama, then fine, EA Sports will try that, too.
Is Boxing Dead? [Peter Moore's Blog]