EA Sports MMA: Payout Perspective

October 22, 2010

It’s been a few days since EA Sports MMA was released, and what seemed liked a bit of pessimism based on fan and critic reaction from the demo a few weeks back, has now turned into optimism for future MMA games with the much improved released version of the game.

MMAPayout will take a look at some of the critic reviews and what the fans are now saying about the game.

GamePro Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

EA Sports MMA isn’t perfect, the lack of UFC fighters is a huge gaping hole that is impossible to ignore and the number of special moves available are fairly slim. Those problems are overshadowed by smooth animations, intuitive controls, and incredibly dynamic online features. By not being limited to the UFC brand EA has used the resulting freedom to present more of a worldwide MMA experience, such as the inclusion of alternate rule sets or the ability to fight in the cage or ring. Despite lacking the dominant brand in MMA [and according to Dana White, president of UFC, having the audacity to claim it wasn’t even a real sport—Ed.], EA has made a compelling and fun game and has raised the bar for what gamers should expect of their MMA games in the future. (GamePro)


GameInformer Rating: 8.5/10

EA’s first attack on the mixed martial arts scene heads back to its corner looking pretty strong, but there are still a few holes in its defense, one of which is the game’s roster. There are some great fighters in this game – such as Fedor Emelianenko, Satoru Kitaoka, and Randy Couture – but without the UFC license and many of its most potent combatants, there is a large hole in the game’s roster. The game’s presentation also lacks a bit of the spectacle and style found in real broadcasts. I’d also like to see some refinement to the submission system as the minigames you use to put the hurt on your opponents feel a little gimmicky. Despite these issues, EA Sports MMA is still a powerful brawler, and another year or two in the gym should turn it into a true monster. (GameInformer)


GameShark Rating: 9.1 (A-)

EA Sports MMA is a strong first entry that is only slightly held back by the lack of more common fighters from the UFC, but the inclusion of big names like Randy Couture, Fedor Emelianenko, Bob Sapp and Tim Sylvia ease the blow. It’s great to see some real competition for THQ in this genre and MMA fans shouldn’t hesitate to pick this one up. (GameShark)


Joystiq Rating: 4/5 Stars

Comparisons between MMA and THQ’s UFC Undisputed franchise are inevitable, but the two games offer up very different experiences that are, for the most part, complementary. MMA is a fuller game that celebrates the broadest scope of the sport with a loving precision, while UFC brings out a roster of more recognizable fighters for a more casual, beer-and-buddies experience.

It remains to be seen if there is enough interest to support both franchises, but with the series’ first outing, EA Sports MMA provides not only a must-play experience for fans, but a compelling argument for a two-MMA-game world. (JoyStiq)


IGN Rating: 8/10 (Impressive)

EA Sports MMA wrestles away the belt from the reigning champ with its stellar combat that feels much closer to the genuine article than what we’ve seen elsewhere. While its modes don’t span the same breadth of other sports titles, it gets things like the international flavor of MMA and the raw nature of the sport down perfectly. Now if they can just refine the AI a bit and add some meat to the scope of the career mode, this one will transcend MMA games and could contend for a spot as one of the best sports games of the year. (IGN)

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EA Sports MMA Sales and Impact on The Strikeforce Brand

On the sales side of the launch, Loretta Hunt of the LA Times was able to reach EA Sports marketing manager Randy Chase and was notified that EA MMA was doing comparable numbers to THQ’s UFC Undisputed 2010.

And while Chase said EA doesn’t release its sales figures, he did confirm that the game’s distribution numbers are on par with the UFC title. Chase said the company has already started to work on an updated installment, and the game leader plans to alternate release years with its “Fight Night” boxing game.

As for what type of impact the release of the game could have on Strikeforce, here is what Randy Couture had to say:

Strikeforce, which trails the UFC as the second most recognizable promotion in the U.S., is featured heavily in EA’s game and stands to gain much-needed exposure in a market mostly dominated by the UFC.

“The brands and the promotions will be recognizable (in the game) to those people that weren’t exposed to MMA before, so when they seek out the sport, those are probably the brands they’re going to seek out,” said Couture.

On the mobile front, EA Mobile also released EA Sports MMA for the iPhone, which is also compatible with the iPod and iPad Apple mobile devices.  So far, it appears to be a success with the Apple customers who have downloaded the game, getting very positive reviews and a Customer Rating of 4.5/5 stars.  The game currently ranks in the top 35 most popular paid apps and ranks as the 12th most grossing app for Apple, selling for $4.99 a unit.


Payout Perspective:

It’s still early since the release, but from the feedback we have received, the game seems to be a pretty big hit with the fans.  In fact, many that were skeptical from the demo release have changed their opinions after playing the full version of the game.

Although the initial response has been great, lets not forget THQ’s UFC Undisputed 2010 received great reviews but after playing the game for a while, fans started to show great frustration with the games career mode and online play, which many said was almost non-functional and really hindered the replay value of the game.  This could still be the case for EA MMA, so we will hold back our final decision on the game for just a bit longer.  As of now, fan reaction of the game has been extremely positive.

If there are any gripes to the game so far, coming from both customers and critics, it’s the lack of UFC fighters in the game (obviously) except for the likes of Jake Shields, Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko, and Randy Couture. We can say that the lack of the UFC license and roster, as pointed by the critics,  is offset a bit by the deeper career mode, the online functionality, the fun factor, and the Create-A-Fighter feature which lets gamers create or download fan-made fighters (which include fan-made UFC fighters).

In the end, the lack of the UFC brand will indeed hurt the sale numbers of the game, not to mention the heavy competition the EA Sports MMA title received from video game titles releasing that same week such as Fallout: New Vegas, DJ Hero 2, Time Crisis: Razing Storm, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 to name a few. It is important to note that this is the second MMA title (UFC Undisputed 2010) to be released in the last six months, which will definitely impact those MMA fans which have already purchased the UFC title just a few months back.  Some analyst are expecting low sale figures for the game and the pre-order numbers show that it wont be a runaway hit by any means, but if EA can establish a fanbase with this release,  they definitely have a franchise worth their while to keep growing.  It is also one of those games where word-of-mouth from happy customers can have an impact in sales later on.

What this video game does nicely, and something I have touched upon before, is display a mutual benefit relationship and synergy between EA and Strikeforce.  If the game does good sale numbers, it would mean great exposure for the Strikeforce brand and it’s fighters. It would also benefit EA Sports for Strikeforce to keep growing as an MMA promotion, which would create a bigger fanbase of their brand, and ultimately, would create more potential customers for EA’s future installments of the game.

10 Responses to “EA Sports MMA: Payout Perspective”

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  3. MattParker116 on October 25th, 2010 9:01 AM

    Can’t speak for the US but it charted 23rd here in the UK.

  4. Jose Mendoza on October 25th, 2010 7:59 PM

    Matt,

    Yeah, the initial sale figures are not going to be pretty, specially in the UK. I will wait and see if it does anything during the Holiday season, but the rumors are out that analyst aren’t expecting great numbers. The only question is whether EA will see any light at the end of the tunnel and work on a 2012 title.

    It was very telling that video game reviews cited how good the game was, but that it lacked the UFC brand and majority of their roster.

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  8. Jose Mendoza on October 27th, 2010 11:40 AM

    UPDATE:

    I spoke with someone from EA, and they said a decision has not been made yet, the game has only been out for a week. I will have a write-up soon.

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