Electronic Arts (EA) has announced an extension of deals with the National Hockey League (NHL) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The extensions of these deals will ensure that EA Sports will develop simulation games for the two sports properties. EA recently released the NHL 21 in October and UFC 4 titles in August this year.
The NHL and EA Sports have collaborated for almost three decades now. The renewal of the partnership will provide further enhancements in ice hockey gaming. As well as innovative new gameplay, the pair will work to find more ways for fans worldwide to engage with hockey, including through new experiences within the EA Sports NHL franchise. The deal with NHL has been extended till the end of 2026.
EA Sports’ latest agreement with the UFC extends its exclusive rights till the end of 2030. The partnership with the mixed martial arts (MMA) brand will focus on design, visualization, and development innovations to improve the gaming experience.
The gaming circuit has seen a boost during the pandemic. Since other sports are not allowing fans in the stadium, virtual gaming has gained more traction during the lockdown period. EA Sports is the leading brand in the gaming industry, so they will be looking to capitalize on this situation by signing extensions for key games and improve the gaming experience for fans.
Cam Weber, EA Sports’ executive vice president, said, “The EA Sports NHL franchise these past 30 years has become synonymous with hockey culture, and this extension will ensure it remains at the forefront of connecting millions of fans around the world to the sport through interactive entertainment.”
Regarding the extension with UFC, Weber said, “We’re thrilled to extend our more than a ten-year partnership with the UFC as we continue to build one of the fastest-growing sports franchises in the world, based on the rapidly expanding sport of MMA. 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 continues to introduce new fans to the sport through its realistic and entertaining approach to virtual games. The past eight months illustrate how EA is a critical extension to real-world sports, as fans turned to EA SPORTS to play and watch sports when the On-field sports were halted during the pandemic.
Tracey Bleczinski, Senior VP at UFC Global Consumer Products, said, “We’re thrilled that we will continue our partnership with EA for the next 10 years. EA SPORTS has become a natural extension of UFC’s brand and an important way to engage with our fans. We’ve just launched our most successful game to date and EA keeps proving there’s room to grow and introduce new fans to the sport. We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries together and make incredible games that UFC fans love to play.”