New Release Date for UFC Undisputed 3

Posted November 5th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

During the UFC 137 broadcast last weekend THQ took the opportunity to announce that UFC Undisputed 3 will be releasing on February 14th – that represents a push back from it’s originally advertised early January release. In doing so the game slides into a slot where it will face more competition while increasing the scrutiny over its base roster and planned DLC. 

THQ cited market competition as a major factor in why UFC 2010 was such a sales disappointment (though there certainly were many other reasons) and that led to the franchise being moved off a yearly release schedule. They aren’t doing themselves any favors here though. SSX recently announced it would be out on the very same day. There are also high-profile titles in other genres falling there such as Twisted Metal – and more bracketing it in the weeks surrounding including Syndicate and The Darkness II.

Beyond that though is the number of sports games that will arrive within the February-March time frame. In addition to UFC 3 and SSX there are the two MLB titles, Tiger Woods 13, Grand Slam Tennis 2, and FIFA Street. In the past we’ve seen comparable situations tend to result in at least one, if not more, of the titles struggling mightily at retail. The assumption can’t be made that the hardcore crowd will be able to purchase every game they want at any given time throughout the year. It’s only in November that companies seem to put that concern aside in order to get in on holiday sales – but even then it’s just the AAA titles that succeed wildly while secondary ones usually fall by the wayside.

The big winner in this is EA Sports’ NFL Blitz as that becomes the only sports title to fall within an over four month time period. Going from NBA 2K12 in early October to UFC 3/SSX in mid-February means Blitz will be able to take advantage of that distinct void. Its reasonable $15 price as a direct-download title will make it even more appealing under the circumstances.

UFC 3’s release date shift also leads to some credibility issues for THQ in regards to the fighter roster. As was detailed throughout the reveal process there are several prominent names absent from almost every weight class – and there are four guys that can only be had by purchasing at a specific retailer. The reasoning THQ initially gave, that these fighters didn’t make it when the cut when the date to lock them in was reached, holds a little less weight now that there is an additional 1+ months for production and 3+ to go until its release.

While early January may not mark the most desirable time to release a high-profile game it would have allowed UFC Undisputed 3 to have some breathing room – while giving consumers something to spend their gift cards on. With the release shift UFC 3 will still likely perform well despite the competition but in doing so THQ may have hampered the potential for it to completely break out as a big hit and regain the momentum lost with the last iteration in the series.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t really see any of the titles mentioned being any huge amount of competition.

    The big thing with UFC 2010’s release was Red Dead Redemption… It crushed not only UFC 2010 but also Alan Wake, Split/Second & Blur, among others that I’m sure I’m forgetting. I’ve heard very little hype for SSX so I highly doubt that it’s going to eat into UFC 3’s sales.

    Twisted Metal has a chance to do really well (and I hope it does do really well) but it’s also exclusive to one platform which will help minimize its impact on UFC 3. I still don’t think any of the games mentioned will have anywhere near the RDR effect…

    Plus, there’s also the fact that UFC 2010 really wasn’t necessary. It’s a good game but it was a very minor upgrade to 2009. The UFC Roster doesn’t make drastic changes enough to warrant a yearly series.

    As far as competition though, if anything, the big multi-million seller that will be releasing near UFC that was omitted in the article is Mass Effect 3, which launches a couple of weeks later. I would put that up as being much more likely to effect early year sales next year than anything else (except maybe BioShock Infinite but I don’t think there’s a date on that one yet).

  • Horf

    they just wanted to hold guys back to sell as DLC. anything they say otherwise is bs

    • Anonymous

      I’m sure that’s definitely a big part of the reason but I doubt that’s exclusively the only reason for the omissions.

  • Knebel Bill

    I’m surprised pasta didn’t blame this on 2k

  • dvno

    so, with this extra time they’ll be adding in a bunch of the fighters they “missed”, right? for the main game, not DLC.

    or could it really be that despite having a whole extra year, they still haven’t figured out the mechanics? i don’t understand why they didn’t nail the gameplay FIRST, and then turned their attention to building the roster. maybe then they could’ve had a roster that was up to date? hell, they could be fleshing out that roster NOW, instead of scrambling to make the gameplay liveup to what fans are expecting.

    is that a crazy idea?