Let me start off by thanking the people that need to be thanked:
Rahlie, Dirrtybird, oilersguru and Rear_Naked_Poke.
Rahlie was unable to attend the community day, due to an accident at work which forced him to stay behind. It was because of this, that I was given an opportunity to take part in my first EA SPORTS community event. His passion was not able to be matched by anyone on this forum.
Dirrybird (Kevin), Oilersguru (Eric) and Rear_Naken_Poke (John) were the three community members along with myself who flew to *. Louis to be the first to get our hands on this game and to provide solid feedback over the course of two full days with the game.
We had some GREAT times in *. Louis and to this day it still stands as one of the best and most talked about community days in EA SPORTS.
I can't thank EA SPORTS enough for that opportunity, and more specifically Justin Dewiel and former community manager Will Kinsler (raczilla). They showed us an epic time and really made sure that we knew the input we provided was very appreciated.
Jason Barnes, one of the developers of the title, was the most approachable guy when it came to direct feedback both at the community day and after launch. One of the most friendly guys you will ever meet, and I miss the days of coming up with novels of emails to send to him in regards to how to make the game better at it's core.
Randy Chase, who hooked us up with the best seats in the house to the Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery event in *. Louis. We were front row to witness Alistair Overeem defeat Brett Rogers. Along with Justin and Will, the three of them showed us a night on the town while we rubbed shoulders with the elite of MMA. It was a time I will never forget for the rest of my life!
Oilersguru (Eric) who was the first guy I met from this community, is a very passionate and active member from the early days.
Dirrtybird (Kevin) was one of the most knowledgeable guys from the community who dove right into the game and spent a lot of time with the devs. I also liked his hats.
Rear_Naked_Poke (Jon) was probably my favorite guy to have met. He had a deep passion for old school MMA and he LOVED the vale tudo aspect of the title. He went through a ridiculous amount of hours of travel to meet up with us, and it was well worth it in the end.
I will miss the old days of this community. The passion that ran through it was like nothing else. We had our battles with the UFC fanboys who ridiculed us and laughed in our faces. That was, until the game finally reached the hands of the gamers.
When you look at UFC Undisputed 3 now, you can see how EA has influenced their engine, and how much of their fanbase still, to this day, asks for things that were in EA SPORTS MMA on Dat 1 (see: Analog striking, smoother animations)
I'll never forget when we were first told about Live Broadcast and how we were supposed to have kept it a big secret. It was very, VERY hard to do that and when we finally proclaimed that it would change MMA gaming forever.. we raised the bar. Maybe a little too high, but expectations were off the chart.. and rightfully so.
Of course, as with anything, some people were ecstatic - some were disappointed - and some couldn't care either way. In the end, Live Broadcast was something that I still see future gaming companies introducing in some fashion into every game that involves competition on a multiplayer level; whether it's sports games or FPS's. It will eventually find it's way into most titles. Just have a look at sites devoted to streaming - there's a demand for it and the guys at EA SPORTS MMA were the first to do it.
The ups and downs of EA MMA were there as well. The ability to have the announcers say pretty much any name in MMA, along with maybe some of our own
was pretty damn cool. Of course, shortly after release Zuffa laid the hammer down on that and were left SOL. Now, with online play gone, I'd suggest removing the initial patch and reverting back your game to Day 1. Create those UFC fighters and have them shown properly.
I was rather sad within about 2-3 months of release when this community began to take a downward spiral. Live Broadcasts were going well, but the interaction and devotion to the continuation and improvement of this title, at a community level, was not there. StykStyle did a great job in keeping up with broadcasts and getting things together in terms of fight cards and such, but discussions in regards to the future of this title quickly turned into flame wars and eventual listing of youtube videos of users' fights, proclaiming they were the best and greatest.
I guess you get that with the online MMA communities, no matter where you go; the average age level can't be much higher than 15, and it shows.
Have a look through our topics from 2 years ago - it was a different place back then.
With this I regretfully say goodbye. Most of the new users will be asking, "Who the hell is this guy?", but the old farts will know.
I will miss what this game brought to the table for MMA gaming. It turned some heads, but the UFC did a good job in making sure that their label was associated with mixed martial arts than the initials MMA. This is what ultimately hurt EA MMA. Anyone who picked up the EA SPORTS title was converted instantly, but unfortunately without that UFC logo on the cover, most mainstream MMA fans passed it off as just a 'lame attempt by EA SPORTS to capitalize on UFC (otherwise known as mixed martial arts)".
These are the same people who 'train UFC'.
I sincerely hope that at some point, EA SPORTS comes back to the table with an MMA game and can successfully snag the UFC label from THQ. Although Yukes has put together a popular UFC game, it lacks in so many areas that EA SPORTS MMA excelled in. The UFC would benefit greatly from becoming associated with EA SPORTS.
Those claims that EA turned down the UFC are ludicrous. We heard the story right from the horses mouth, and it was just the right people talking to the wrong people.
If you go back to 1997-2000, it was almost the exact same situation between THQ and EA SPORTS.
THQ made yet another decision to go with the BIG name at the time - The WWF.
Acclaim had been publishing the WWF titles for some time, but THQ snagged the deal when the contract was up.
This left WCW out in the cold. At the time, WCW was on a resurgence with the public and had a decent brand behind it. However, it wasn't the WWF.
EA SPORTS released their first and last professional wresting game, WCW Mayhem.
It was almost as if EA SPORTS MMA was yet another WCW Mayhem. EA threw their name in the hat for sports entertainment, and came out not as losers, but as the less popular choice with mainstream fans.
The big difference between EA SPORTS MMA and WCW Mayhem is that WCW Mayhem was terrible, even by the standards set back in the late 90's.
EA SPORTS MMA is still one of, if not THE best virtual representation of Mixed Martial Arts on this generation of consoles, period. Regardless of how you play the game, you can't argue that it's fun as hell and very well produced.
As of today, we are without online access to EA SPORTS MMA.
But this is not the end.
The game will still find it's way into our consoles throughout this generation, to be played at parties and with friends in the same room as us - how it used to be. No internet connection - just two friends in the same room beating the virtual crap out of each other.
I will miss the community. The fight cards, Live Broadcasts.
But not this game.
The game is still here, and it will still be played.
Continue the dream that some day EA SPORTS will be back in the MMA genre. Keep active in this community and posting your ideas for how to make this game better.
Because you never know when we'll be called upon again....