EA SPORTS UFC to be developed by Fight Night team at EA Canada

This year at the Electronic Arts E3 Press Conference, EA SPORTS shocked the gaming world with a surprise announcement unveiling that EA SPORTS had partnered with the UFC and would produce the next UFC videogame.

UFC & EA SPORTS Announcement at EA E3 Press Conference

Today, EA SPORTS announced that the award-winning Fight Night development team has been tapped for the octagon to develop the next UFC videogame. The EA SPORTS UFC development team will be led by Team and Action Sports General Manager Dean Richards (Fight Night, NHL, SSX) and Creative Director Brian Hayes.

Fight Night Champion Launch Trailer

After leading gameplay design on Fight Night Round 4 and Fight Night Champion, Hayes is now the Creative Director for the Fighting Team at EA SPORTS and had this to say when asked about leading the development team for EA SPORTS UFC:

“When we found out that EA and the UFC would be working together, the team was excited. Most of the team didn’t even know about it until the announcement at E3. We were all watching it together and when Andrew Wilson and Dana White took the stage, everybody starting cheering. It was great.”

Caption: EA SPORTS Executive Vice President Andrew Wilson (Left) shakes hands with UFC President Dana White (right) during EA’s E3 press conference

“For me personally, the UFC is something that I grew up with. I remember watching the first UFC events when I was a teenager and it’s amazing to see how they have evolved and flourished. Ultimately, we’re huge fans, we think we have a great team and we are really excited to be taking on this new challenge. We look forward to bringing the UFC video game experience to new heights.”

So what does the Fight Night dev team bring to the table? Here are the Top 3 things you should know:

Fight Night Champion wins ‘Best Individual Sports Game’ at 2011 Spike VGAs

1. The Fight Night team has won some big-time awards since the release of Fight Night Round 3 including 11 ‘Best Sports/Fighting Game of the Year’ Awards

2. The Fight Night team is one that is known for innovation within the genre and the industry:

Fight Night 2004 revolutionized fighting gameplay with ‘Total Punch Control’, an innovative control scheme which made use of the right analog stick and changed the way you play fighting games forever.

Fight Night Round 4 introduced real-world physics to the sports videogame category. Check out the trailer:

3. Fight Night Round 3 was a launch title for the X360 and showed the world what a next-gen sports game was capable of.  The lead gameplay designer from FNR3 is heading up gameplay design for EA SPORTS UFC.