Should another UFC video game be made?

While MMA is wildly popular, the need for another MMA video game has been widely questioned in the industry. Photo by Vlad Dediu / License

One of the more interesting sports video game series around, the EA Sports UFC series appears to be poised to have another entry set to join it in the near future. That will come in the form of a fourth installment of the series, which is said to be on its way in the future. But before players are able to get their hands on this game, it is worth asking if another title in the series is really worth making and if UFC fans and gamers alike are going to be able to enjoy it to the fullest. 

Is there enough variety? 

With the new UFC title said to be in the works, one of the first questions to be asked is one that comes up whenever a new sports video game is set to come out—what makes the game different enough from the previous versions to justify purchasing it? A common complaint surrounding sports video games is that they often feel like little more than an expensive update to the rosters that can be used in those games. 

And while the list of features that may be available in a fourth UFC title from EA Sports isn’t public knowledge, it is an interesting thing to contemplate in the case of UFC. As is the case with most fighting titles, there aren’t extra elements that can be added to the fights themselves, given the structure of the sport. So, questions will surround what EA Sports can add to the fighting mechanics and what game modes they can add to make things feel compelling for everyone.

As console gaming prepares for its next generation, it’s possible that a new UFC game will be there. Photo by Pixabay / License

More entertaining options out there 

One of the big things that has gotten in the way of the UFC video game series is the fact that there are just more entertaining options for UFC enthusiasts to take part in than a video game that struggled to gain mainstream acceptance. With streaming services and other options at fans’ disposal, there is a virtually endless cavalcade of fights that fans can view, making it difficult to justify buying a game that may not feel different or special enough in the eyes of some. 

Today, UFC fans also have the ability to make each individual fight more exciting than their virtual counterparts. With interactive mobile options that allow them to forecast the results of fights and test their knowledge of the sport, it’s worth wondering if there is a need for another entry into this EA Sports series. With the potential for real fights being just as interactive—and more exciting—than their digital counterparts, the video game industry has to figure out how to earn back the attention of MMA fans. 

Is there enough star power? 

One of the things that has always made sports video games compelling has been the presence of star athletes throughout them. Where games like the EA Sports FIFA series have always had plenty of star power to trot out, the UFC’s lack of consistent star power has made it a harder sell for gamers. In contrast to sports like soccer that have stars like Ronaldo and Messi tearing up their sport virtually, the UFC has lack of consistent promotion for all but a few fighters, making a UFC game too friendly for hardcore fans and not friendly enough for casual players. 

Take, for example, the career of Khabib Nurmagamedov. He has been dominant throughout his career, and could be one of the truly marketable stars that UFC has at its disposal. Instead, the sport has done very little to promote him, even after his destruction of Conor McGregor and the subsequent post-match fireworks. While Khabib would be amazing to utilize in a fighting video game, many players wouldn’t know him well enough to be able to enjoy that opportunity. That is not just a problem with the game, but also with UFC as a whole, and it is one that prompts the question about the necessity of the game at all. 


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