It's an odd-numbered year this year, and so it is that EA Sports shall give us a boxing game. Fight Night Round 4, to be specific. Later this month.
EA Sports' Peter Moore sat with Kotaku at E3 last week to talk about the more athletic wing of Electronic Arts. We talked about the newest sport in the EA Sports roster, Mixed Martial Arts, which gets its first EA treatment next year.
"It gives us a rhythm of a fighting game every year," Moore said, saying that boxing and MMA would alternate years. "That's the plan. If you think of 2010, we're bringing MMA. In 2011, Fight Night Round 5." Moore instantly qualified that with: "That's not an announcement." But we were already complimenting him on picking out the title. He laughed. "It's not hard."
The biggest name in MMA is UFC, to the point that it dwarfs its competitors in public awareness in the way WWE does its pro wrestling rivals. But THQ has the MMA license, not EA. That doesn't shake Moore.
"This is a long-term play for us. I have nothing but the greatest respect for UFC and what THQ has done with that franchise. [UFC boss] Dana White has done unbelievable with the sport itself. I'm a big fan.
But I think there's room for a contender. Clearly, we're a contender in the first year. Our job is to make the sport even more interesting by bringing EA Sports authenticity to it. And we're in this for the long haul."
Moore said he does not know how long THQ has the UFC license but said there are other viable MMA groups out there with fighters who might fight the game. Moore attended a card held by the Strike Force group a couple of weeks ago, for example. "We're going to get who we need to get," Moore said. "Ask me again in five years if we've been successful."