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EA Sports UFC won't let you share created fighters due to copyright concerns

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

You'll be able to create a fighter in EA Sports UFC, but you won't be able to share your creations with other players because of headaches surrounding intellectual property rights, said creative director Brian Hayes in an interview with MMAjunkie.

EA's previous mixed martial arts title, 2010's EA Sports MMA, included a feature called Fighter Share that allowed players to upload their created fighters to EA's servers so other players could download and use them. (A similar feature was available in EA Canada's Fight Night series of boxing games.) People frequently created fighters whom EA did not license to appear in EA Sports MMA, including UFC combatants such as Chuck Liddell and Georges St-Pierre.

Players also created and shared unrelated individuals like Bruce Lee, Rocky Balboa, Snoop Dogg and Harry Potter — and that's where EA ran into trouble.

"Nowadays, when people can make YouTube clips and share them, there's this whole gray area where if our game allows users to make a Rocky character that's the intellectual property of somebody else, it causes a ton of problems," said Hayes, while noting that the developers at EA Canada "loved" the feature. "There is a Create-A-Fighter, and you could create you own [sic] Rocky, but when we are facilitating the sharing of content, it gets very difficult."

In an interview with Polygon last month, Hayes said that EA was aiming to launch EA Sports UFC in "very late spring." Asked about the publisher's latest release plans, Hayes told MMAjunkie, "We've been saying spring 2014. It was always going to be late, late spring. But that was the plan. We could say spring or we could say summer."

Check out our full interview with Hayes for gameplay details on EA Sports UFC.

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