It's the fights themselves that make the Ultimate Fighting Championship such an entertainment powerhouse, but the difference between a true fan and just another fight-monger is an effort to understand the context behind each fights. Who are the fighters? Where are they coming from? What are their goals and how far are they willing to go to reach them? That's why the Ultimate Fighter TV show is such a success, and also why EA Sports has decided to include the Ultimate Fighter Career mode in EA Sports UFC.
Today EA Sports announced their plans for the career mode of their upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One fighting game. The plan is to create a career mode that capture not only the progression of a fighter as they climb to the top, but also the day-to-day challenges and risks a fighter takes. Through training an winning fights, the player's character will grow stronger, but as the player loses or takes excess damage that career can end early. There's even a "longevity" meter to keep track of.
A character's evolution also depends on their popularity. Finishing fights in exciting ways extends their career and also serves as a currency to improve strength. However, leave it to EA to make a fighting game about the spectacle rather than the gameplay. Popularity also plays into gather sponsorships, dressing up for walking to the ring, and unlocking video messages from popular UFC personalities. Yawn.
EA Sports UFC is planned for release on June 17 on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This is the first game to be born from EA's partnership with UFC. Some might remember how adamant the UFC once was to never partner with EA, but the times they do change. We'll see whether the new partnership should be met with skepticism or not this June.