According to creative director Brian Hayes, the “large majority” of players “spend their time elsewhere.”
Following a number of leaks, EA Sports officially unveiled EA Sports UFC 4 last week. It’s coming to Xbox One and PS4 next month (with Xbox Series X and PS5 versions still to be announced, according to ESRB ratings) and makes a number of changes to its striking, takedown and ground mechanics. However, this time around, Ultimate Team is absent.
Ultimate Team is a staple in other EA Sports franchises like FIFA and Madden and a huge revenue driver for EA with its microtransactions. Despite the enthusiasm among other fan bases, the mode failed to really catch on in the EA Sports UFC franchise. It doesn’t help that there is no real “team” in matches – simply one fighter facing another.
As creative director Brian Hayes explained in a blog post, “Ultimate Team, as a concept, has struggled to fit and resonate in the context of MMA. We spent lots of time and resources in UFC 2 and UFC 3 to make it fun and engaging, but the feedback we received directly and through player data was that it still isn’t as engaging as we intended for it to be.
“Lots of people played it and some still do–but the large majority of our fans prefer to spend their time elsewhere. That fact is loud and clear through our game data and couldn’t be ignored.” The amount of investment required versus the return “just doesn’t make sense” according to Hayes. “Even to port it from UFC 3 to UFC 4 without any material changes or improvements required significant time and effort, let alone revamping the mode to make it more fun and engaging.
“So we made the decision to refocus those resources toward new features and updates we hope all our players will enjoy.” Instead, players can expect challenges, progression, vanity rewards and the new Connected fighter profile to change things up. You’ll also have over 1,600 gear pieces for customizing a fighter along with different weight classes and disciplines.
EA Sports UFC 4 releases on August 14th. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.