Electronic Arts’ UFC franchise “feels” like a biennial series, CEO Andrew Wilson told Fortune, but EA has yet to make a final decision about how often the company will release the mixed martial arts games.
EA purchased the UFC publishing rights from THQ in June 2012. The company’s first mixed martial arts fighting game, EA Sports UFC, was announced at E3 2013 and is in development at EA Canada for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Several EA Sports titles are annualized, including the long-running FIFA soccer, Madden football and NHL hockey franchises. According to Wilson, EA hasn’t yet determined whether UFC games will follow that pattern.
“Do I think that UFC would be an every year game?” Wilson asked. “I don’t know. It feels like it’s in that every-other-year mix, but in all honesty we haven’t made that decision yet. That really comes down to how long it’s going to take to make a great game and when do we think the audience is ready.”
Wilson also explained that a combination of player desire and developer capability determines how often EA releases franchise games.
“There are products that we will do every year, and there are products that we’ll do every other year and there are products that we’ll do every four or five years, and the industry has demonstrated an appetite for that,” he said. “We get a new GTA game every four or five years, but there is an immense appetite. What we’re looking at right now is how long is it going to take us to build a truly innovative game in that genre, and when do we think gamers are going to be ready for that next one.”