UFC president Dana White once recognized EA Sports to be a great publisher, having produced successful sports game franchises such as FIFA, NASCAR, Tiger Woods PGA, and Madden NFL. White wanted the Ultimate Fighting Championships to have its own video game and join those ranks, so he went to the EA Sports hoping for a deal. Unfortunately, EA did not believe in MMA, so they turned White down, saying that the UFC is "not a real sport."
"EA Sports told us, 'You're not a real sport,'" White said. "'We wouldn't touch this thing. We want nothing to do with this.'" And so, White then went to THQ, who agreed into the venture and partnered with White for MMA's biggest promotion. It was then that UFC Undisputed 2009 came into the scene, shipping approximately two million units, according to White.
Seeing the success of Undisputed, EA Sports must've gone, "What were we thinking?" so they jumped the MMA bandwagon and announced their own game, EA Sports MMA, something that really pisses Dana White off:
We put our asses on the line, THQ and the UFC, to make a video-game deal in the worst economy in the world. We go out there and do this thing, and it's successful, and now [expletive] EA Sports wants to do a video game. Really? That's not what you told us a year-and-a-half ago.
You told us you'd never be in business with us. They wouldn't even take a meeting because mixed martial arts disgusted them. This wasn't a real sport. Boy, they got over that real quick, didn't they?
In fact, Dana White is so pissed that any fighter that signs with EA Sports will be blacklisted from the UFC. "I'm not tap-dancing around this thing or whatever," White said. "I'm telling you straight-up, I'm at war with them right now. That's how I look at it."
You know what the difference is? I'm in the mixed martial arts business. EA isn't.
EA doesn't give a [expletive] about mixed martial arts. They made that very clear.
Former UFC champ Randy Couture is expected to be in EA Sports MMA, the coverboy no less, something which White and company worked out in court. Randy may get to keep his UFC ties, but to all the others who sign with EA, Dana White has one quick message for them: " "You won't be in the UFC."
Peter Moore said they're ready for the fight: