EA Sports MMA just grew in stature as Randy Couture has now joined the line-up to co-headline the game. Which is scheduled for release next year. It will also alternate with Fight Night, with one of the game’s being the focus each year.
Couture will be co-headlining along with World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko.
During the press conference to announce the co-headliners, EA Sports President Peter Moore gave more information.
“As we did with “Fight Night Round 4″, which I’m sure many of you have already played, where we were able to bring together Muhammad Ali vs. Mike Tyson, this could be the only place where you’ll see Randy Couture fight Fedor Emelianenko. Our goal primarily is to be able to grow the sport. Nothing like a sports video game to actually grow the sport itself. At Electronic Arts, we’re very proud to be involved in this sport and delighted to be able to bring it to you in 2010.”
It will be interesting to see what happens now, because UFC’s Dana White has proclaimed that any fighter who joins EA’s game will forfeit their right to fight in the UFC. Although Couture was the exception due to some previous contracts. Still, it’s a big win for EA. However Dana has declared “war” on EA’s MMA and that may prevent other fighters from coming on board, as many of them might have to choose between EA’s game and the UFC.
“There’s no conflict whatsoever,” Moore said when asked if any fighters have complained about having to choose between EA and the UFC. “We’re not seeing any push back from any outside influences with regards to people trying to influence fighters of not being in the game. If we believe that the quality of fighter is there — that their obviously going to help us build more authenticity — we’re certainly going to sign them up.”
Couture had this to say, “My fight contract has nothing to do with the ancillary stuff that I do outside of that fight contract. So I don’t really see it as a conflict. I know that Dana and others may see it differently, but I don’t. I fought hard to maintain my name and rights and ancillary image since Zuffa bought the company in 2000, and that’s been a major rub along the way. But I’m a fighter first and foremost. I will continue to fight as long as we have a contract. And all the other stuff that I’m free and clear to do, I’m going to do.”
Moore didn’t seem interested in pouring more fuel to the fire between EA and the UFC, but he did add that, “We have nothing but the greatest respect for what Dana has done with the UFC, but he doesn’t own the sport. We want to grow the sport. We are not in the business of trying to curtail the business of this sport for our benefit whatsoever. We got into this sport in particular to help it grow, and we see an opportunity to do that against what is obviously a very well-run, very well-organized organization in UFC. But theres room for both of us, no doubt.”
Other fighters to be featured in the game include Gegard Mousasi, Renato Sobral, Fedor Emelianenko, Frank Shamrock, Jay Hieron, BenjI Radach, Tim Sylvia and Tim Kennedy. Mauro Ranallo will be doing the play-by-play for the game.
Meanwhile rival THQ’s UFC-branded MMA title, UFC 2009: Undisputed, has shipped over 3 million copies worldwide. It’ll be interesting to especially see the rivalry that develops between the video game versions of these sports.
* Image thanks to BMahecha