Special to NYSportsJournalism
June 5, 2012: Electronic Arts has signed a licensing agreement with Zuffa, LLC, to produce and distribute videogames featuring the Ultimate Fighting Championship brand.
The new multi-year, multi-product partnership will "provide EA the exclusive rights to develop UFC videogames, which will be developed and marketed under the EA Sports brand," according to the companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Zuffa, the parent company for UFC, had previously licensed the UFC videogame rights to THQ, Inc., under a deal signed in 2007.
Neither side said when the first co-product would be available.
The deal was unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo being held in Los Angeles, and also was revealed by Dana White, president for UFC, on Twitter.
According to White, “We’d like to thank THQ for creating some of the most critically-acclaimed sports videogames of this console generation, and we’re excited to enter a new relationship with EA that will help us deepen our connection with fighting fans around the world. There’s no one better at creating authentic sports videogames than EA Sports, and we’re excited to have a partner who shares our vision of deep, connected and multi-platform global game experiences.”
Among EA Sports other sports licenses are Madden NFL, FIFA soccer, NHL hockey, NBA Live basketball, NCAA football, Fight Night boxing and Tiger Woods PGA Tour golf.
“We’re thrilled to begin a long-term partnership that will bring fans incredibly authentic, and deeply connected, UFC videogames,” Andrew Wilson, evp and head of EA Sports, said in a statement. “UFC has become a global powerhouse because they have the world’s best fighters, competing in the world’s best mixed martial arts events."
Added Wilson, "We share UFC’s passion for the sport, and we look forward to capturing all of the intensity and excitement of the action with unique new game experiences across a range of platforms.”