Electronic Arts latched on to the hype surrounding this weekend's match between professional pugilists Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao. Simulating the brawl Fight Night Round 4, EA Sports called Pacquiao to win the fight.
Technically, EA's prediction was right. Pacquiao knocked out Hatton. And EA's simulated play-by-play predicted "an aggressive attempt by Hatton to limit Pacquiao's movement early on was unsuccessful." But that's about the extent of what the forthcoming Fight Night accurately predicted.
Of course, EA's prediction of the bout's winner was a 50/50 shot, pretty decent odds.
While EA called the fight to last eleven rounds, ticket holders didn't get quite that much fight. Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao knocked Hatton down twice in the first round, then sent his Manchester-born opponent to the mat a third time in the second round, ending the fight.
That knockout was delivered by a left hook from Pacquiao, not from a "deadly right" in the simulated Round 11. Hey, you can't win 'em all.
Obviously, EA Sports' job here is to provide a fun, mostly accurate boxing game, not simulate real-world events or predict the weather. EA's had its accurate predictions in the past, calling this year's Super Bowl contest with surprising accuracy in Madden NFL 09. The sports game maker's NHL Championship soothsaying is still up in the air, but could still play out as NHL 09 predicted.