Electronic Arts put out a press release on Thursday confirming that it has extended its partnership with the UFC on another multi-year deal. In the late 2000s the UFC partnered with developer THQ to create a series of console games, which eventually became known as the UFC Undisputed franchise. Following the closure of THQ, EA Sports and the mixed martial arts promotion signed their first multi-year contract, resulting in four EA Sports UFC games released biennially. The latest, EA Sports UFC 4, was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One earlier this year.
"Today, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) and UFC announced a multi-year renewal of their partnership to continue to deliver authentic, innovative, and thrilling mixed martial arts (MMA) games," the release read. "Millions of players worldwide for years to come will get to compete in the virtual octagon through the EA SPORTS™ UFC®franchise.
"The new agreement arrives as the world is playing and watching more EA SPORTS UFC than ever before as MMA fandom continues to grow," the release continued. "Fans played more than 64 million simulated UFC fights during the EA SPORTS UFC 4 launch week, a 125 percent year-over-year increase compared with the previous edition,EA SPORTS UFC 3. EA SPORTS UFC 4launch weekend timed alongside UFC 252: Miocic vs. Cormier 3 enhanced the connection to the sport driving a spike of almost 75 percent more players than EA SPORTS UFC 3."
"We're thrilled to extend our more than 10-year partnership with the UFC as we continue to build one of the fastest-growing sports franchises in the world, based on the rapidly expanding sport of MMA," Cam Weber, EA Sports' Executive Vice President & Group GM said in the release. "This agreement will allow us to push the creative boundaries of mixed martial arts video games and connect millions more around the world to the culture of the sport."
"We're thrilled that we will continue our partnership with EA for the next 10 years," Tracey Bleczinski, Senior Vice President, UFC Global Consumer Products commented. "EA SPORTS has become a natural extension of UFC's brand and an important way to engage with our fans. We've just launched our most successful game to date and EA keeps proving there's room to grow and introduce new fans to the sport. We're going to keep pushing the boundaries together and make incredible games that UFC fans love to play."
The developer recently announced a new DLC pack for EA Sports UFC 4, which included the addition former UFC Heavyweight Champion and WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar.