Fight Night Champion
In 2003, ESPN debuted Playmakers, a gridiron soap opera about a fictitious professional football team that dealt with many of the dirty off-the-field issues commonly seen in the world of sports. Critics and viewers alike gravitated to the show, making it the third-most popular program on ESPN. Not everyone was happy with the success. The NFL disliked the show due to its portrayal of professional players as drug addicts, wife beaters, and closeted homosexuals. With the renewal of the Sunday Night Football contract on the horizon, ESPN caved to pressure from the overbearing league and cancelled the show.
Sports game developers are all too familiar with this kind of league pressure. Many leagues review the content that goes into each game, which might keep, for example, EA Tiburon from adding random events like substance abuse suspensions or off-field controversies to Madden’s popular franchise mode. With no league body to appease, the Fight Night development team at EA is free from these types of shackles and plans to make use of its liberties in the new Champion mode. As the first mature-rated title in EA Sports history, Fight Night Champion’s story mode examines the seedy underbelly of boxing. To make sure the story meets the team’s high standards, EA hired Academy Award winning writer Will Rokos (Monster’s Ball). Here are short bios of the characters players encounter as the drama unfolds.
The central figure of the story mode, Andre is a talented boxing prodigy who many project to be the next Sugar Ray Leonard. Blessed with superior athletic abilities and demonstrating a maturity beyond his years, players will guide Bishop through the trials and tribulations he must overcome to realize his goal of being the best boxer in the world.
The Don King of the story, McQueen is a cutthroat boxing promoter who will do anything to keep his empire at the top of the sport. McQueen has his eyes set on signing Andre, and he doesn’t plan on taking no for an answer.
Gus is a foul-mouthed, crotchety trainer who mentored Andre Bishop Sr. during his boxing career. After the elder Bishop died in a car accident, Carisi took it upon himself to raise the orphaned boys. An old-school aficionado who fiercely guards the integrity of the sweet science, Carisi laments how promoters like D.L. McQueen have transformed the sport.
The daughter of the most notorious boxing promoter on the planet, Megan is a lifelong boxing fan who wants to get into managing on her own merits.
Raymond is also a formidable boxer, but he doesn’t have the hype surrounding his career like his older brother Andre. Ray makes up for his lack of buzz with a boisterous, narcissistic personality not unlike a diva wide receiver in the NFL.
The reigning heavyweight champion of the world, Frost is an intimidating force who beats his foes into submission and revels in injuring opponents with his devastating blows. His dominance is so complete that experts see him holding the title for years to come.