Martial arts legend and action film star Bruce Lee will appear in mixed martial arts title EA Sports UFC, EA Sports revealed today.
To ask why Bruce Lee is in a UFC game is "the most ridiculous question," according to creative director Brian Hayes, because the UFC is fastest growing sport in the world and Bruce Lee's philosophies "laid the groundwork for modern mixed martial arts."
"I can't conceive of a universe where bringing these two things together doesn't make sense," he was quoted on the EA Sports blog. "I know there are going to be countless fans that feel the exact same way and they will be eager play with such a legend in the UFC Octagon. I am one of them."
The development team worked with Bruce Lee Enterprises to introduce Lee into the game. Bruce Lee Enterprises provided them with a library of digital references, a life-cast of his body to create a 3D reference as well as behind-the-scenes and candid shots that helped "identify the specific era we wanted to capture as well as the iconic elements of his face and body."
"When we first heard that there was a possibility of adding Bruce Lee to the roster for EA Sports UFC everyone was excited at the prospect and more than a little nervous," art director Ian Lloyd wrote. "Nobody wants to tackle a legendary icon like this and mess it up.
"We had done a pretty exceptional job on our UFC roster to that point, with the majority having been scanned expressly for the game," Lloyd added. "A handful of fighters were being built in the ‘traditional way' - using whatever reference we could get our hands on. Bruce would have to be built the same way."
Players can unlock Bruce Lee in flyweight, bantam weight, featherweight and lightweight divisions by finishing the game's career mode on pro difficulty or higher. Day one access is available by pre-ordering the game from select retailers. You can see Bruce Lee in action in the gameplay trailer below.
Fighters previously revealed for EA Sports UFC's roster include Forrest Griffin, Chan Sung Jung, Costas Philippou and more. Swedish UFC fighter Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson appears alongside Jon "Bones" Jones on the cover of EA Sports UFC after being selected in a fan vote.
The title will launch June 17.
EA Sports UFC is the first release under EA's new licensing agreement created to reboot the company's MMA series. The title won't allow users to share fighter creations with other players because of issues surrounding intellectual property rights. To learn more about the game, check out our interview with Hayes.
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