Having last seen the light in 2011’s release Fight Night Champion, according to those in the know, ‘Moneyball’ has been given the green light and is in early development.
But the news comes with a caveat.
As EA are currently buried in the final stages of production with their upcoming UFC title, a release is likely to be some way off, with all of the company’s eggs currently in said basket.
Pencilled in for a December release, in a studio-wide email seen by VGC, EA Canada told staff that its focus would be on EA Sports UFC 5 for the foreseeable future.
As the email explained that current marketplace had made it difficult to find the right people to produce Fight Night – which was intended to enter production alongside UFC – the decision was made not to split its senior creatives between two fighting game projects.
“We’re very excited about UFC 5 and… we want to eliminate the split focus that several members of our leadership team have had over the past while so we can solely focus on delivering migration and UFC 5 at high quality,” the correspondence reads.
The email continues with the decision then being made to pause the game’s development “for the time being,” to ensure that UFC 5 will be delivered at a similar “high quality.”
For fans of the series, the announcement will be bittersweet.
Consistently a hit with critics with all of its five instalments to date, Fight Night has earned Metacritic scores in the mid-to-high 80s on all occasions.
Though EA is reportedly aware of the demand for a fresh boxing title to compare with the likes of the FIFA and indeed the UFC franchise, complications around the growing fees to license the likenesses of the world’s biggest boxers have become difficult.
In comparison, EA may have opted to focus on UFC, with a blanket deal for all its athletes much easier to reach.
With currently little known about the new boxing game, promoter Eddie Hearn appears to be a driving force behind the idea having pitched the initial concept some time ago, which EA sees as the way back into the fighting game market, with boxing arguably more popular than ever before.
Sadly, however, judging by the latest news, that will still be some way off.