Video game publisher and developer Electronic Arts (EA) has extended its multi-year partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to develop the namesake simulators based on the two organizations’ sports.
EA has just released NHL 21 and UFC 4 in October and August respectively and is now in development of upcoming games for the franchises. The present deal confirms that EA may forge ahead with development efforts.
The NHL and EA first started working together in the 1990s, launching the first of a series of games to follow. EA will continue to build up and develop the simulator, the press release explained. As per EA, the deal offers new opportunities for hockey fans to engage with both the real experience and the EA Sports NHL franchise. The hockey league has been actively turning to gaming solutions to incentivize younger audiences into seeking out the real thing.
EA Sports executive VP and Group General Manager, Cam Weber said that the EA Sports NHL experience has become synonymous with hockey culture. “This extension will ensure it remains at the forefront of connecting millions of fans around the world to the sport through interactive entertainment,” he added.
Building upon the UFC Legacy with EA Sports
Weber was equally excited to be adding UFC into the mix. He argued that the company was thrilled to have this renewed partnership going. Commenting on the deal, Weber lauded UFC as one of the fastest-growing sports franchises and an ambassador of MMA worldwide.
“This agreement will allow us to push the creative boundaries of mixed martial arts video games and connect millions more around the world to the culture of the sport.”-EA Sports executive VP and Group General Manager, Cam Weber
EA Sports has been actively looking to secure its presence in the sports space. The company has kept on good terms with flagship organizations such as La Liga and Bundesliga. In fact, EA renewed agreements with both earlier this year. In the meantime, FIFA 21, which remains the company’s leading sports simulator based on soccer, drew an average minute audience (AMA) of 254,000 people and hit 1.024 million hours of total watch time.
The numbers were for the FIFA 21 Challenge, which was a single-day tournament that took place on October 29. The event featured top soccer talent against some of the best FIFA players in the world.