Zuffa llc, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has bought out mixed martial arts’ second largest promotion, Strikeforce. The acquisition could mean only one MMA video game going forward.
Last year’s EA Sports MMA was licensed by Strikeforce, using its rules, many of its fighters, and venues where major Strikeforce cards have been fought. The two had a hand-in-glove promotional relationship leading up to the game’s release, including bouts fought during E3 under Electronic Arts’ sponsorship.
Though EA Sports MMA did not perform to analysts’ sales expectations, a producer vowed in November that the publisher would make a sequel. That may be off now; UFC President Dana White has made no secret of his contempt for EA Sports. Further, the UFC and THQ, publisher of the UFC Undisputed Series, have an exclusive partnership lasting through 2018.
EA Sports MMA was largely reviewed positively and praised for its controls, which placed strikes on the right analogue stick and moved transitions and grappling to the face buttons, the reverse of UFC Undisputed 2010. THQ in August announced that UFC Undisputed, which also had a 2009 edition, would skip 2011 and move to an every-other-year production cycle.
Kotaku contacted an EA Sports representative for the publisher’s reaction to the deal. Any statement will be updated here.