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EA likely to withdraw from MMA market - analyst

EA Sports MMA apparently 'dead on arrival at retail'

EA is likely to back out of the mixed martial arts genre after its debut offering, EA Sports MMA, made a poor start at retail.

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That's according to Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz, who thinks UFC Undisputed maker THQ may have scored a knockout blow in the MMA battle between the publishers.

"EA's recently released 'MMA' appears to be more or less DOA at retail, while UFC recently announced an extension of its license with THQ, likely putting an end to EA's efforts to expand into the mixed martial arts genre," the analyst said in a research note this morning.

THQ said last week that it is to "broaden the UFC brand experience" after extending its exclusive publishing deal with game rights holder Zuffa until 2018.

We were largely impressed with EA Sports MMA, awarding the game 8.3 in our review, but noting that it couldn't quite match up to UFC.

While Creutz's comments regarding the game's retail performance are likely specific to the US market, EA Sports MMA made a disappointing start in the UK, debuting at No.23 this week.

We've contacted EA for comment on this report.

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