What EA SPORTS UFC 4’s Quick Announce + Release Could Mean for NHL 21 (and other sports games)

This morning (Saturday, July 11, 2020), EA SPORTS officially revealed UFC 4 to the masses. The trailer is very much sizzle but what caught my eye (outside of the obvious tease that we’re probably going to see a new Fight Night game in the near future) was that they revealed the game on July 11 with a launch on August 14, 2020 – that’s just over a month away. This is a really interesting move and one I think could spell the change of how some sports games are marketed moving forward.

If you put sports games on one of those Tier Lists of importance, no question that FIFA, Madden NFL, and NBA 2K are on the top of that list. They are incredibly mainstream and can warrant a slightly longer ramp-up cycle prior to launch. I don’t suspect they will shy too much from their three-month build-up cycle because they have the audience that will consume and critique the content build up until those respective games launch to the public.

But below that tier, are the other guys, which very much includes the likes of EA SPORTS UFC and EA SPORTS NHL. There isn’t the need for a game like UFC 4 to have a long ramp to launch because it’s not as wildly as popular. UFC 4 isn’t reinventing the sport in any sort of drastic way and from the available previews, it sounds like a lot of the improvements from the last game as behind the scenes (not any sort of graphic overhaul or the introduction of new major modes)

I suspect the same push will happen for EA SPORT’s NHL seri