Today, Electronic Arts has announced that it has inked a deal with both UFC and the NHL to make more games. The National Hockey League and EA have been hammering away at games for years, nearly for 30 years at this point, and things are still going. And while the UFC partnership has not been going anywhere near as long, there are still some popular games there. The games will continue it seems, as EA has renegotiated both of its existing deal licenses for NHL and UFC games.
It’s not too surprising considering how well both franchises are doing. The NHL games in particular have been getting plenty of positive response from fans. NHL 21 includes a bonus NHL 94 Rewind mode, a fully functioning 16-bit game that contains present-day teams with controls that mimic the older games. That hints at the idea that fans want to get more of the same, but with improvements that make the simulation more interesting and engaging.
The UFC games have been exploding in popularity along with the growth of mixed martial arts (MMA). The premier promotion for the sport has inked the deal with Electronic Arts through 2032, meaning that there are several more games there on the way as well.
And with both games, there’s plenty of growth that suggests an improving fanbase. The publisher says it saw a 125% year-on-year growth with regards to the launch week sales and player counts. And it seems like the gaming company is very excited about the deal.
“The EA Sports NHL franchise these past 30 years has become synonymous with hockey culture, and this extension will ensure it remains at the forefront of connecting millions of fans around the world to the sport through interactive entertainment,” said Cam Weber, EA Sports’ executive vice president and group general manager.
What about UFC?
Weber also spoke positively about the future of the UFC deal. “We’re thrilled to extend our more than ten-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,” he said. We don’t have details about new games yet, and shouldn’t expect a new UFC title for at least a couple of years. UFC 4 dropped in August 2020, so it’s going to be a while.
“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.” While that won’t give us any details about new games, we can at least hope they try to improve the perennial games each year more than they currently are.