EA has announced today that it has renewed its partnerships with both the National Hockey League and the UFC. NHL 21 released just a few weeks ago and it has achieved the most daily active players at launch that the franchise has seen in the last three years. The team behind NHL 21 also released NHL 94 Rewind alongside the game. The partnership between the two isn’t an exclusive partnership, however. The two are aiming to accelerate authentic and innovative hockey simulation experiences going forward.
“We are thrilled to accelerate fun hockey experiences for years to come pushing the industry forward with our long-time NHL and NHLPA partners,” said Cam Weber, Executive Vice President & Group GM, EA SPORTS. “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.”
“EA SPORTS NHL continues to introduce new fans to the sport through its realistic and entertaining approach to the game,” said Brian Jennings, NHL Chief Brand Officer & Senior Executive Vice President. “The past eight months illustrates how EA is a critical extension to real-world sports, as fans turned to EA SPORTS NHL to play and watch hockey while we temporarily paused during the pandemic. Our shared approach for competitive gaming has enabled the league to create a touchpoint to younger fans who may experience the NHL for the first time through EA SPORTS NHL. Sustained connection that enhances fandom is what EA delivers and we look forward to continuing the incredible partnership.”
“The NHLPA is proud to renew our long-standing partnership with EA, ensuring their exceptional NHL hockey franchise will continue showcasing the players to fans around the world for the coming years,” said Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA Special Assistant to the Executive Director. “The simulated experience of hitting the ice behind the console with EA SPORTS NHL continues to be an incredible way for fans to connect with the players and the game.”
The UFC franchise will look to continue to deliver authentic, innovative and thrilling mixed martial arts games. Millions of player compete in this virtual octagon on a yearly basis. Fans played more than 64 million simulated UFC fights during the launch week of EA Sports UFC 4. This is a 125% year-over-year increased compared to UFC 3. The new partnership will include more forms of play and self-expression and will be available on more platforms that includes mobile players. It wiull also focus on design, visualization and development innovations to help grow and deepend the franchise.
“We’re thrilled to extend our more than 10-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,” said Cam Weber, Executive Vice President & Group GM, EA SPORTS. “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.”
“We’re thrilled that we will continue our partnership with EA for the next 10 years,” said Tracey Bleczinski, Senior Vice President, UFC Global Consumer Products. “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.”