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UPDATE: EA Comments on UFC/Strikeforce Deal (?)

by Matthew Kato on Mar 14, 2011 at 10:30 AM

UPDATE: We contacted EA Sports about the future of EA Sports MMA, and the future of the franchise remains murky.

Apart from the fact that EA Sports hasn't committed yet to a sequel for EA Sports MMA, the company is saying next to nothing about the series' future and what UFC buying Strikeforce (see below for the original story) might mean for the franchise.

Here's EA Sports' official response to some questions we posed (via email) on the matter.

Will there be a sequel to EA Sports MMA this year? We have not announced any additional MMA titles.

Will the franchise be linked with Strikeforce now and in the future? We have not announced any additional MMA titles.

If so, how long is the EA/Strikeforce deal in place? We do not disclose the terms of our business contracts.

It has been stated that Strikeforce currently has a deal with Showtime that ends in two years. At which time, it’s speculated that UFC will control Strikeforce entirely (in contrast, the UFC currently says it’ll leave Strikeforce alone). Do you see Strikeforce existing on its own at that time and EA associated with Strikeforce?  We don’t comment on speculation or rumor. 

If EA and Strikeforce are not longer associated now or in the future, will EA continue to make an MMA product? We have not announced any additional MMA titles.

Does EA have the rights to any individual fighters that it could feature without the use of Strikeforce? We do not disclose the terms of our business contracts.

 

ORIGINAL STORY: EA Sports has dominated the video game market for some of the world's major sports, but its early foray into mixed martial arts – EA Sports MMA – could be under serious threat thanks to a deal between UFC and Strikeforce.

Pastapadre has the story that UFC's parent company Zuffa will announce today that it has bought the Strikeforce league and brand. This brings into the UFC fold a rival that includes the contracts of popular fighters such as Fedor Emelianenko. Strikeforce was used by EA for its MMA title (including Emelianenko on its cover) since rival THQ owns the UFC license for the foreseeable future.

UFC says that it will be hands off from operating Strikeforce, so it could be that things will remain the same until Strikeforce's contract with Showtime expires in two years – at which time it's expect that UFC will swallow Strikeforce whole. At a minimum, this could buy EA some time to position itself for its next move in the sub-genre.

For more on EA Sports MMA, check out our review.