UFC 4 dev explains Submission change & Ultimate Team decision
Gaming

Interview: UFC 4 dev explains Submission change & Ultimate Team decision

Published: 4/Aug/2020 16:01

by David Purcell

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The closed beta didn’t provide the clearest picture of UFC 4. In an exclusive interview with Creative Director Brian Hayes, we quizzed the EA SPORTS dev lead on changes to submissions, their decision to scrap Ultimate Team, and more. 

This year is going to be a little different for UFC 4 players, with Career Mode getting the bulk of attention. The development team recognized that the majority of the playerbase actually use created characters rather than those on the in-game roster, which led to a huge shift in direction.

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Ultimate Team might be the crown jewel of FIFA and Madden, although it just didn’t quite work out for UFC. Now, players can’t play it anymore and a universal system has been introduced to allow us to collect rewards for our created fighter as time goes by, across all modes.

It’s also different in the sense that Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have been added to the mix. The popular boxers represent the UK heavyweight scene, but also represent EA’s intention to appeal to a much broader audience than the hardcore UFC fans – while staying true to its roots.

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UFC 4 closed beta and submissions

McGregor in UFC
EA SPORTS
Players were not very impressed by some elements of gameplay in the UFC 4 beta.

The closed beta arrived and left in a short space of time. This was certainly confusing for some. Movement felt a little clunky and the design of some competitors looked off. It was still in beta though, after all.

One of the main concerns from players were with submissions. This is a feature in the game that fans have wanted to see tweaked for a while, in order to make bouts that bit more competitive than they have been. Yet, it didn’t feel very balanced in the beta and this is something the team noticed right off the bat.

“I felt the same way when I was playing the beta, and I was like ‘oh man, people are choking me out like crazy.’ So yeah, that’s exactly the kind of gameplay feedback we can see,” Hayes said, before agreeing it needed to be tuned for launch.

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UFC 4 submissions
EA SPORTS
The submission system in UFC 4 has been overhauled – but didn’t quite impress in the beta.

There was a clear slant in the submission gameplay for the closed beta. By this we mean the attacker seemingly had an advantage. After the closed beta version was released and feedback poured in, it was clear to the devs that even more work was to be done.

Hayes continued: “We actually already, prior to the beta being cut or branched from the main game, we had already tuned back a little bit from where submissions were in the beta. As a result of the beta, we’ve said yeah we probably need to tune back a little bit more.

“That’s not to say that when the game comes out to launch, everybody will be like submissions are perfect, but they should be much better. The OP-ness of submissions for the attacker should be much better, but as with all games these days it’s something you continue to monitor and look at post-launch based on player feedback.”

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Ultimate Team in UFC

Players that have sieved through Brian Hayes’ statement on major changes this year will have noticed a huge shift towards customization and Career Mode particularly. There’s a lot of information in there.

A large percentage of the player base use Create-A-Fighter characters much more frequently than the fighters included in the roster. Having said that, Ultimate Team on the other hand, doesn’t appear to have resonated with the audience in recent times.

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It just hasn’t worked out in UFC and we can now confirm that there are no plans for it to return in the future.

Ultimate Team in UFC
EA SPORTS
Ultimate Team has been much more successful for other EA games.

Hayes said: “The future right now for Ultimate Team, for UFC 4, is that there is no future. There is no Ultimate Team in EA SPORTS UFC 4. We actually did not continue with Ultimate Team as a feature, but what we did instead is try and create a different set of features that still hit some of the motivations that Ultimate Team does.

“Where you can play the game, earn rewards or currency that allows you to get content to make your fighter better, was always a strange part of Ultimate Team for our game. One, it’s not a team. It’s a fighter,” he added. “There were definitely some challenges conceptually with how Ultimate Team fit with a 1v1 fighting game.”

Appealing to casuals

Anthony Joshua in UFC 4
EA SPORTS
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury both feature in UFC 4.

One of the things that makes MMA so interesting is that there’s a huge casual audience to be tapped into. There are no clubs or teams to root for every year, instead fighters come and go in terms of popularity.

The inclusion of Fury and Joshua is an interesting one, as it follows on from previous moves. The UFC games have seen crossover with the likes of Bruce Lee in the past, proving to be super successful additions. This year, it’s all about big name boxers.

When asked about why these two guys were chosen, Hayes said: “At the end of the day, we want to put fighters in the game that more people want to play with as much as possible.

“There’s no guarantee that Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are going to be them. But they’re pretty popular heavyweight boxers and heavyweight boxing is certainly making a resurgence these days so I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re used quite often as well.”

The list of changes is a long one this year for UFC 4, with feedback and stats being considered right across the board.

If there’s one thing to learn from our interview with Brian Hayes, it’s that the development team are dead-set on appealing to a casual audience. At the same time, they are also tailoring many features to the hardcore fans. That’s their goal.

MMA fans will be hoping this creates a best-of-both-worlds scenario for the next game. Many will also be expecting improvements on the closed beta for sure. There are submissions to be tweaked, big fighters to play with, and potentially a much more immersive look at the journey of a fighter in Career Mode right around the corner.

UFC 4 releases on August 14 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC platforms. There are currently no plans to have the game release on next-gen.

FIFA

FIFA 21 TOTW 2 live: Lewandowski, Haaland, Kane, Saint-Maximin, more

Published: 7/Oct/2020 18:05 Updated: 7/Oct/2020 18:11

by Isaac McIntyre

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EA SPORTS have released the second batch of Team of the Week players in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team, and it looks like there are some exciting cards up for grabs this week.

Following the completion of another busy game week across football’s top-flight leagues, a new set of TOTW players has been released, featuring some huge names and valuable cards.

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Dexerto made a number of predictions earlier in the week, included at the bottom of this article, so let’s see how they stacked up with leaks and ultimately, the official team as well.

FIFA 21 Team of the Week 2

FIFA 21 TOTW 2
EA SPORTS
The full Team of the Week #2 in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team!

Just as with the first Team of the Week, the second TOTW squad is stacked with top talent, such as the likes of Lewandowski, Courtois, Kane, and Haaland. While not as high-rated as those studs, the likes of Milan’s Hernandez and Newcastle’s Saint-Maximin should also draw a lot of attention as being “meta” players.

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Here are some of the players you might be interested in:

  • Erling Haaland (86)
  • Robert Lewandowski (92)
  • Harry Kane (89)
  • Thibaut Courtois (90)
  • Ben Chilwell (84)
  • Theo Hernandez (83)
  • Jack Grealish (83)
  • Ollie Watkins (81)
  • Allan Saint-Maximin (83)
  • Renato Sanchez (82)
  • Marcel Halstenberg (84)

FIFA 21 Team of the Week 2 leaked

Ahead of EA SPORTS confirming the full TOTW #2, the full squad was claimed to have been leaked – and the leaker even managed to get his hands on the same image that EA would end up tweeting out.

When did TOTW 2 go live in FIFA 21?

EA SPORTS revealed this next FIFA Team of the Week squad at 6PM (UK time) Wednesday, October 7, 2020. As per usual, they were announced and droped into packs at 6pm BST / 12pm CT / 1pm EST / 3am AEST.

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These boosted player upgrades are now being announced at the same time as they drop in-game in FIFA 21, unlike other years where we knew about them three hours prior. 

FIFA 21 Ultimate Team Season 1 Rewards
EA SPORTS
This could be a cracking TOTW just in time for the full FIFA 21 release!

FIFA 20 Team of the Week 32 predictions

What a week! Competitions around the world have come back for the 2020/21 season, soon after the end of last year’s staggering campaign. The back-to-back nature of these seasons, it seems, is going to lead to some exciting games.

The biggest news from the Premier League this week was Aston Villa and Tottenham each dolling out huge defeats for Liverpool and Manchester United respectively. Ollie Watkins scored three and assisted one as he led the Villans to a 7–2 victory over the champions, while Heung Min Son was unplayable against United.

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There were a number of other standout performances across the weekend too. Neymar Jr. was at his electric best against Angers, while FIFA 21 cover star Erling Haaland kept up his goalscoring record in a 4–0 win over Freiburg on Saturday.

Here are our TOTW 2 predictions, so let’s see how many we got right this week!

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TOTW 2 predictions

  • GK – Marko Dmitrović – SD Eibar
  • GK – Jiri Pavlenka – Werder Bremen
  • CB – Marvin Friedrich – Union Berlin
  • RB – Facundo Roncaglia – Osasuna 
  • LB – Ben Chilwell – Chelsea
  • LB – Aaron Cresswell – West Ham United
  • LB – Marcel Halstenberg – RB Leipzig
  • CM – Jorginho – Chelsea
  • CM – Mikel Merino – Real Sociedad
  • CM – Dani Di Wit – AZ Alkmaar
  • CM – Mario Pasalic – Atalanta
  • CAM – Jack Grealish – Aston Villa
  • RW – James Rodriguez – Everton
  • RM – Marcus Harness – Portsmouth
  • RW – Galeno – Braga 
  • LM – Allan Saint-Maximin – Newcastle United
  • LW – Neymar – PSG
  • LW – Heung Min Son – Spurs
  • ST – Erling Haaland – Borussia Dortmund 
  • ST – Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich
  • ST – Patson Daka –  RB Salzburg
  • ST – Callum Wilson – Newcastle United
  • ST – Ollie Watkins – Aston Villa

As always, make sure to follow us on Twitter @UltimateTeamUK for all the latest FIFA 21 news, updates, leaks, guides, and more.