Tag Archives: EA

EA UFC Reveals Mystery Fighter, Father Of MMA, Bruce Lee

eaufcbrucelee2

EA Sports has been teasing the addition of a mystery fighter for the upcoming launch of the UFC franchise and the clues made it immediately obvious that it would be Bruce Lee. Today the company confirmed that Lee will be on the roster available immediately to those who pre-order (unlockable by completing Career mode for those who don’t) and playable in four different weight classes (Fly, Bantam, Feather, Light). The deal is being offered through all retailers including Amazon however nothing has been mentioned pertaining to digital purchases. 

Along with that news the company has confirmed the release date as June 17. That’s technically the last day EA would be able to release it without slipping out of spring – which they have promoted as the scheduled time frame all along.

In 2004 UFC president Dana White stated that he believed Lee was the “father of mixed martial arts” for his blending of styles so with that in mind it’s not a huge surprise that he would look to include him in a game out of respect and for the attention it would generate. The UFC even sells official Bruce Lee merchandise so the connection has been there.

Lee has been one of the most downloaded created fighters in Fight Night and MMA but this year EA removed the feature and those with a cynical point of view will say his addition was the reason why. Regardless it’s questionable whether his presence will make for a legitimate selling point for consumers when he obviously never had any association with UFC (formed 20 years after his death) – and early reaction to the news appears decidedly mixed – but it’s a big name that will clearly be pushed hard in the marketing campaign.

Advertisements

More on EA Sports UFC Gameplay Features

eaufc0236a

At last June’s E3 eight core gameplay features were revealed by EA Sports for their first UFC title. Quite a lot of time passed – understandable given there was about a year until expected release at that point – before the company followed up with some more significant news on the game. A trailer was recently released going over many of those same concepts and now more detailed descriptions of those areas have been provided. 

Precision Movement
The first step to putting you in control of realistic, world-class fighters is creating believable movement.

Partnering with the EA SPORTS FIFA team and leveraging all new EA SPORTS IGNITE technology, EA SPORTS UFC has created a locomotion system that eliminates sliding and skating around the canvas and instead emulates the complex footwork of a real fighter.

“This new locomotion system creates the sense that when someone throws an overhand right, they’re really planting their foot, transferring the power up through their leg, into their arm, and ultimately into their opponent’s face,” explained Creative Director Brian Hayes. “It sounds like a really simple thing, but it wasn’t something we had really done before.”

Not only will a fighter’s movement create a more believable athletic performance, but the design team also took special care to give the user as much control over that movement as possible, drawing a line between regular locomotion and fight-specific maneuvering.

“We could have just mo-capped a guy moving around like Frankie Edgar, bobbing, weaving, slipping jabs – and all you had to do was move around the left stick to make that happen. But you probably wouldn’t feel like you had that much control and he’d be doing all that stuff on this own,” he continued. “We had to put the onus to be defensive on the user. If you want to slip, move, and bob your head like Frankie Edgar you won’t be able to do that just using the left stick. You’re going to have to flick the left stick to dodge left or right or backwards, or use the left trigger and the left stick, to slip punches while just standing in place.”

Full-Body Deformation
One of the toughest features to realize, but also one that best represents the realism that next-gen tech offers, Full-Body deformation will be the exclamation point on every strike and submission battle. Full-Body Deformation allows a fighter’s flesh to react as it would in reality, displacing or rippling when met with the impact of a blow or the pressure of an opponent’s submission attempt.

“MMA is unique in the sense that we only have two fighters facing each other at a given time as opposed to 10 basketball players on a court, or 22 soccer players on a pitch,” pointed out Hayes. “So we wanted to take the opportunity and ask, what are some things we can do with two human characters that aren’t wearing jerseys, pads, or helmets? We wanted something to show that we were really pushing the boundaries with this new technology.”

Real Damage
Forget always looking up at the HUD. Damage in EA SPORTS UFC will look better than ever and give gamers the perfect ammunition for trash-talking their opponents during a fight.

“If someone’s laying into your legs, you’ll be able to see the really painful looking contusions on your fighter’s legs. Same with the body – you’ll see a lot of bruising there. And of course on the face we have a variety of cuts and swelling. It’s all there and it looks better than it ever has before,” said Hayes. “The blood is also physics-based, so if a fighter gets cut on the bottom of some ground and pound, you don’t just see random blood appear on the ground – it actually flies out of a fighter’s cut, lands on the mat and you can watch it the whole way. “

No matter how much damage a fighter absorbs, gamers can rest assured they’ll always be able to go the distance, so long as they manage to stay conscious.

“We decided not to have any doctor stoppages in EA SPORTS UFC. People will have different opinions on this, but we ultimately didn’t want to rob the user of the chance to make it to the end of a fight or score a wicked comeback because the AI of an Octagon-side physician decided they couldn’t continue,” he added. “You’ll recoup right away after your fight, so if you’re playing in an online tournament, you won’t carry that damage over to your next bout.”

Exertion
A staple of any great fighting game, exertion will be a lot more intuitive in EA SPORTS UFC and like Real Damage, provide you with the visual cues to know your fighter is expending a lot of energy without having to glance up at the HUD.

“Aside from being a lot more intuitive, we’ve also made it specific to fighters,” added Hayes. “At the end of a five-round fight that had an incredible pace, you’ll still see veins bulging out on Frankie Edgar, but you won’t see him sucking wind. Hector Lombard on the other hand might have to take some time off here and there otherwise he’ll be pretty tired by the end.”

NCAA Ordered to Talk Settlement in O’Bannon Case; Eventual Resolution Will Determine Future of College Sports Video Games

Last week the judge in the Ed O’Bannon class-action case vs the NCAA ordered the two sides to enter settlement talks. Naturally questions have started to come in about whether this could accelerate a return of college football (and other sports) video games.

There is no longer a video game element to the case – although Sam Keller has continued to argue that he was not a part of the earlier settlement that got Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Company out of it. A conclusion to litigation that would provide an outline for players to be paid (whether from share of broadcasting rights, personal endorsements, and/or merchandising) could open the possibility of video games back up. 

It’s very unlikely that a settlement will be reached which would mean the case proceeding through the lengthy process that with appeals could be five years away from a conclusion. There is no requirement that the sides attempt to reach one in good faith – just that they attend the required mediation. Even if a the two sides came to a settlement the specific terms would be critical.

EA could manage paying collegiate athletes $50-$100 a season. That’s essentially what they did with the $40 million settlement. With NCAA Football establishing a successful Ultimate Team mode they could afford additional costs especially when being able to promote real players officially in the game would likely increase sales of the product. Going much higher than that though, or having a system where players negotiate their own appearance fees, could make it more difficult to financially justify.

Earlier/Summary Below

The player likeness lawsuit against the NCAA, CLC, and Electronic Arts is the culmination of two high profile filings that were combined as led by Sam Keller and Ed O’Bannon (and O’Bannon now heads it up). It alleges improper use of player likeness through various forms of merchandise and media including video games in which the parties in question conspired to avoid paying players for their rights. Some interesting details and claims regarding the case at hand were revealed when EA was reentered as a defendant after initially being dismissed.

EA originally won a previous case regarding player likeness with the courts ruling video games are artistic works rather than commercial speech and therefore protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court in 2011 established forms of media, producing expressive works of art, are not subject to judgments based on incorporating someone’s name or likeness. That dismissed case however, involving Ryan Hart, has resurfaced after an appeals court reversed a decision based on that argument.

Recent uncovered emails have shown that NCAA representatives were well aware that players in games were based off real-life players. At one point the NCAA and EA had nearly reached an agreement to have actual player names included in the products. The EA Locker / Roster Share feature was a fallback option. With momentum clearly on the plantiffs’ side NCAA reps have begun to publicly express concern over the future of collegiate sports. A former EA Sports producer admitted players in NCAA games were based off real athletes.

The discovery of Tim Tebow’s name being in NCAA Football 10 could throw another wrench into EA’s series of arguments. Depositions from former Alabama wide receiver Tyrone Prothro and UConn basketball guard Tate George support the defendant’s reasoning for denying class action certification. The class action hearing resulted in the judge heavily questioning the legitimacy of a potential class and insisting a current athlete be involved. The judge required current athletes be added as plaintiffs for that party to have representation if the case is certified as class action. Six current college football players were added as plaintiffs in mid-July.

EA is now arguing to be dismissed as a defendant in the suit. A major defense for the company however was recently struck down by an appeals court.

This consolidated case in California if certified as class action would go to trial – barring a settlement – and ultimately be the determining factor of how the NCAA proceeds in the future handling broadcasting rights, merchandising, and video games. Should a negative result come down, which one analyst has pegged as being a potential loss of $1 billion for EA, it would likely not just end the NCAA Football series but also with it any realistic possibility of college sports games being made in the future. The trial now is slated to begin June 9, 2014. Appeals following a decision could extend the fight through 2020.

[RESOLUTION] EA and the CLC have settled the lawsuit. EA Sports will no longer produce a college football game. Getting out of the lawsuit only cost EA and CLC $40 million.

Lack of NFL License News Raises Questions

madden25broncospats

Almost two years have passed since the NFL extended the exclusive video game license with EA Sports. At the time the events made it obvious that the satisfied partner in the relationship was the NFL and not EA. It was evident that EA would later seek to secure much more favorable terms come negotiation time.

An extension to the exclusive license has still not been announced. In the past that news has come in February (2008 and 2011) each time two years in advance of expiration. Now though the current deal is set to expire next month and there have been no updates from either side on how things will proceed. 

EA had the leverage going into the process. The NFL has been happy with the partnership to date. The exclusive deal has brought in four times as much money each year as when multiple licensees paid in and they’ve been able to enact a level of control over the product that projects the image the league desires. The NFLPA loves the arrangement too because it brings in the most money possible. For the league to turn to a different company would mean likely no NFL game on the market for at least two years and that is an unthinkable scenario.

Unlike partnerships related to apparel, uniforms, beverage, and the like there is a turnaround time and a greater sense of uncertainty that would come with switching video game developers. Though now they are expected to extended NFL Sunday Ticket with DirecTV at one point they strongly considered going elsewhere with it when DirecTV questioned its value. That is similar to how EA Sports has felt as development costs increased coupled with shrinking sales. The common thread however with how the NFL handles its brand is exclusivity. It would go against their M.O. to open up a license to multiple parties.

That doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. EA Sports has no reason to pay a premium for the exclusive when the threat of competition is thin even if other companies had the opportunity to buy in. The investment for a new company to begin from scratch would be enormous beyond whatever enter fee there would be for the license and then there would only be the potential of splitting the pie with EA who has one of the strongest brands in gaming history with Madden. Still it’s a more realistic scenario than new serious competitors entering the field in other sports.

EA Sports continues to develop Madden NFL 15 and there have been no indications that the license is in question for this year. At the very least they seem to have secured a limited extension yet there has been no official announcement of details. That they have avoided addressing the topic suggests there very well could be a change to the status quo and the news on that being held until the completion of the NFL season and the expiration of the previous deal. Neither side gains from the perception of uncertainty so if an agreement for extending the exclusive has been reached there would have been no reason to hold an announcement back.

No one should get their hopes up too high of a change to the way the NFL license is handled and who will be involved developing officially licensed games. However there is reason to believe that a change of sorts is plausible. February or early March would be the time when details will have to be shared regarding any parties attached through a deal.

Porsche Makes Its Triumphant Return To Forza Motorsports, May 22, Via Forza 4 Porsche Expansion Pack

Porsche is returning to Forza Motorsport! Today we’re unveiling the first look at the Forza Motorsport 4 Porsche Expansion Pack, which will arrive on Xbox LIVE on May 22, featuring content and gameplay experiences solely dedicated to one of the world’s most iconic automotive brands.

First up, the cars. The Forza Motorsport 4 Porsche Expansion Pack will feature 30 incredible Porsche models for you to collect, drive, and customize, including two models announced today: the 2010 Porsche 911 Sport Classic and the 2010 Porsche Boxster S. Seven of the 30 Porsche models that will be featured in the Porsche Expansion Pack are brand new to the Forza franchise—look for more car details to be revealed in the coming weeks.

The Porsche Expansion Pack is more than just cars, however. The pack will also feature 20 brand new Porsche-centric events to be added to your Forza 4 career, as well as 10 new Xbox LIVE Achievements (worth a total of 250 Gamerscore points) all centered around Porsche. In addition, players can expect to see Porsche models in the AI field when racing in events, as well as integrated into Forza 4’s level reward structure.

Battlefield 3 Co-Op: Exclusive Unlockable Guns For Multi-Player Use (Quickest Way To Get Them)

If you want to have access to a complete armoury of weapons to take online in Battlefield 3, you’re going to have to dive into the game’s co-op mode first. Battlefield 3’s co-op producer Patrick Liu has said that the game’s co-op mode contains exclusive weapons that can be used in the game’s multiplayer once you’ve unlocked them in co-op.

The video above is the easiest way to quickly unlock All Exclusive Weapons in Co-Op on Battlefield 3 for use in multi-player, choose 4th mission Hit & Run, set the difficulty to easy (Doesn’t Affect Your Score), kill as many enemies as possible while running through the mission as quick as possible (Around 7 Mins or Less) finish the round, earn 10,000+ Points, Wash-Rinse-Repeat until all desired guns unlocked. Check below for all seven (7) Battlefield 3 CO-OP unlockable weapons listed by required CO-OP score: Continue reading Battlefield 3 Co-Op: Exclusive Unlockable Guns For Multi-Player Use (Quickest Way To Get Them)

Ex-Celtics Star Bill Russell Sues NCAA, Electronic Arts Over Image Use

William “Bill” Russell, former star center for the National Basketball Association’s Boston Celtics, accused the National Collegiate Athletic Association of using his likeness from his college playing days without paying him or seeking his consent.

The complaint is the latest to claim the NCAA violates federal antitrust laws by keeping former student basketball and football athletes from receiving compensation for the commercial use of their images and likenesses. The association has denied wrongdoing in those cases.

Electronic Arts Inc., the second-largest U.S. video-game maker, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, filed yesterday in federal court in Oakland, California. Russell accuses it of using his image in a “Tournament of Legends” feature on an NCAA basketball video game.

Russell, who led the University of San Francisco to NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, said in the complaint that the association sells $150 videos of the team’s championship games. At least 54 clips featuring him are available through the website of the NCAA’s for-profit business partner and photos of him through an NCAA online store, according to the complaint.

Russell, 77, is seeking a court order blocking further sale of the videos and video games, plus disgorgement of profits from them and unspecified damages.

Post-College Endorsements

The NCAA owns and licenses the copyright on the NCAA games cited in the complaint, said Donald Remy, the association’s general counsel. The NCAA doesn’t restrict athletes from profiting from their college accomplishments through post- college commercial endorsements and other ventures, he said in an e-mail today.

“Mr. Russell, like the thousands of other student-athletes who played the game, can capitalize on his likeness, reputation, athletic and academic successes as a student-athlete after college,” the e-mail said. Continue reading Ex-Celtics Star Bill Russell Sues NCAA, Electronic Arts Over Image Use

Forza Motorsport 4: Under the Hood Part 1

By:  Brian Ekberg

If you’ve been following the press coverage so far, you know that Forza Motorsport 4 is Turn 10 Studios’ biggest game yet. In fact, it’s so big that, despite the hundreds of stories, interviews, and videos that have appeared about Forza 4 since we officially announced back in December, there is still so much to talk about. We know there is plenty you want to know about Forza 4 and, in our brand new FM.net feature Forza Motorsport 4: Under the Hood, we’re going to shed as much light as we possibly can on those unanswered questions.

Each Wednesday for the next few weeks, we’ll be running a new segment of a lengthy interview I recently conducted with Turn 10 creative director Dan Greenawalt. In each edition we’ll be tackling a variety of subjects from around the Forza 4 universe… from a deep dive into the updated physics of Forza 4 to detailed explanations of Forza 4’s brand new game modes and much more.

While our goal for this series is to answer many of the common questions we’ve seen pop up on a regular basis online, we know you’ll always have more questions for us. That’s why we’re opening up the final edition of the Under the Hood series to you, the Forza Faithful. There we’ll be answering questions sent from our readers. If you’ve got a question you’d like to have answered, send us an e-mail to forzafb@microsoft.comwith the subject line “UNDER THE HOOD”. We’ll pick a number of questions for the final edition in the series and, while we won’t be able to answer every question that comes in, I can promise they will all be read.

In today’s inaugural edition of Under the Hood, we tackle a number of hot Forza 4 topics including the brand new Rivals mode, the return of user-hosted public lobbies, and a couple of burning questions.

Let’s start off with one of my favorite new features in Forza 4: Rivals mode. How would you describe this mode?

Rivals mode is basically a combination of career events, time trials, and multiplayer. It allows you to play against your friends in a diverse group of challenging events, even when your friends are offline. Your friend is represented on track by a ghost, but not one of our classic transparent “jellyfish” ghosts. It’s a fully liveried car–more similar to how Forza 3 multiplayer races work when you have them set to “collisions off.” Continue reading Forza Motorsport 4: Under the Hood Part 1

NCAA 12 Gameplay Enhancements from Roy Harvey

Welcome Back!

Another season is upon us and the countdown begins. Over the next 90 days you’ll be hearing about everything we’ve put into NCAA Football 12 and we hope you’ll like what you’re going to see. It represents months of deep development and the next serious step in innovation that we initiated last year with NCAA Football 11.

I have no major announcements today, but I can say that our focus and fundamental strategy hasn’t changed. It’s still all about the three key elements I described in my blog last year “A New Game Plan”; Core Experience, Authenticity, and Innovation.

The community feedback we’ve received on ’11 through emails, forums, and surveys has been encouraging and I’m happy to report that we’ve incorporated many of these requests into the newest edition. Continue reading NCAA 12 Gameplay Enhancements from Roy Harvey