As the UFC continues to grow in popularity, not only is maintaining its place in the sports world essential, but of equal importance is what the company can do to further establish itself in other mediums.
Lately the promotion has made moves in the video game world that will continue to establish it as the go-to source for MMA content in gaming, including a recently announced new deal with Microsoft to expand its presence on the Xbox 360 platform.
When asked what this new deal means, especially after UFC content has already been available on Xbox 360 previously, G4 Television’s X-Play correspondent Blair Herter said, “This, more so than any other offering in the past, is indicative of what we can expect to see from this relationship moving forward.
“I think we’re rapidly approaching a future where a gaming console can truly be the multimedia hub of the living room. Dana White obviously recognizes this and is slowly integrating his product into the 360’s always-growing stable of content providers.”
While the partnership will determine where Microsoft and the UFC are headed, as for individual games and advertising, Herter doesn’t see a change in what is already going on.
“Anyone who’s watched a PPV in the last few years and seen blood splashed all over the Gears of War 3 or Modern Warfare 2 logos in the center of the Octagon has already experienced what these two worlds do for each other marketing-wise,” he said. “I don’t think this particular announcement will add more value to what sponsoring an entire event already does for a lot of these games.”
Previously, Herter had told MMAWeekly.com that he felt there was room for competition when it came to MMA video games. However, with the sale of Strikeforce to the UFC and uncertain future of EA Sports’ involvement with MMA, as well as the underwhelming performance of Supremacy MMA, Herter has altered his opinion.
“I think there is some space available in the market for a ridiculously over-the-top NFL Blitz or NBA Jam-type arcade-y game, but as far as realistic simulations go right now, the UFC offering is the only game in town,” he said.
Currently the UFC and THQ are in the final stages of development for their upcoming third installment of the Undisputed franchise.
Originally the series was to follow other sports franchises with a yearly release schedule, but as Herter points out, disappointing critical response and sales figures lead to the decision to push the latest edition to be released this coming January, as well as motivated those working on it to make it the best experience yet.
“Without boring people with the usual ‘the extra time will add better animations, gameplay, online functionality, etc.,’ I think the biggest catalyst for change is the commercial ‘failure’ of the second game,” he said. “I’ve met quite a few of the people that work on this franchise and they’re not just gamers, but MMA fans as well, and trust me when I say they’re motivated to end up back on top with Undisputed 3.
“The inclusion of a Pride FC mode shows just how committed they are to delivering the most realistic MMA experience possible.”
X-Play will be getting hands-on time with the game this coming weekend and are looking to add that coverage to what is already turning out to be one of the busiest gaming seasons ever for Herter and the show.
“We will have a crazy amount of stuff on X-Play in the next few weeks,” exclaimed Herter. “Not only will we have reviews for blockbusters like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition and Saints Row: The Third, but we will be featuring exclusive content and news from the biggest games out there.
“Additionally, we will have Holiday Buyers Guides in time for your shopping frenzy and of course the Best of the Year show in mid-December. If you don’t tune in, children cry.”