It is not a good time to be an MMA game these days. Sales are not strong for either game so far, and one marketing analyst believes the debut of EA Sports MMA will also be the nail in the coffin.
According to Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz, EA is likely to back out of the mixed martial arts genre after its debut offering, EA Sports MMA, made a poor start at retail. “EA’s recently released ‘MMA’ appears to be more or less DOA at retail, while UFC recently announced an extension of its license with THQ, likely putting an end to EA’s efforts to expand into the mixed martial arts genre,” the analyst said in a research note this week. While Creutz’s comments regarding the game’s retail performance are likely specific to the US market, EA Sports MMA made a disappointing start in the UK, debuting at # 23 this week.
Most reviewers were very positive about the game, citing that despite its lack of namepower, the controls were great and it was a better MMA simulator than the UFC games. However, not having the UFC brand on it has been one of the biggest deterrents from the games sales, and will forever be their biggest enemy moving forward. This game, they were lucky enough to get Randy Couture and a few other UFC fighters who were not part of their stable last year. Compounding this is the fact that UFC Undisputed 2010 was released just six months ago, which will definitely impact fans that already purchased that game when it came out.
Loretta Hunt of the LA Times spoke with Randy Chase from EA and had this to say about sales:
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.
Saying his distribution numbers are on par with the UFC is not a positive thing since they did not do too well this year, and no word yet about if there will be a sequel and if so, when, to EA’s entry into the market. MMA fans are either hardcore people like myself who will buy anything related to the sport, or are casual and will buy one game and a shirt here or there and be done with it. It does not lend itself to collecting as much as other sports still, and THQ learned that fact the hard way. I am waiting for my copy of the game to be delivered so once I get that, you will get my take on the game, but for those who have played it, how do you think it will do overall and will there be a sequel?