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EA explains why Bruce Lee will feature in EA Sports UFC

"Why put Bruce Lee in a UFC game? It's Bruce Lee"

The creative and art directors of EA Sports UFC have explained the studio's decision to add Bruce Lee as a playable character in the game.

Players who finish the game's career mode on Pro difficulty or higher will unlock the legendary martial arts expert for play in the Flyweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight and Lightweight divisions.

Alternatively, players who pre-order the game will receive a code to unlock Bruce Lee instantly without having to beat the game on Pro difficulty.

In a blog on the EA Sports website, creative director Brian Hayes explained why the company added Bruce Lee to the game.

"I feel like this is the most ridiculous question," he said. "Why put Bruce Lee in a UFC game? It's Bruce Lee.

"You have the premier organization in the fastest growing sport in the world, the UFC, and the most iconic martial artist in the history of the world, Bruce Lee - a martial artist renowned for his philosophies that 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."

The game's art director Ian Lloyd also discussed the creative process in adding Bruce Lee to the game. "Nobody wants to tackle a legendary icon like this and mess it up," he explained.

"We were quickly connected to Bruce Lee Enterprises who provided us with not only an impressive catalogue of digital references spanning Bruce's acting career, but many behind-the-scenes and candid shots that helped us identify the specific era we wanted to capture as well as the iconic elements of his face and body.

"A real bonus was the life-cast they sent us that gave us a truly definitive three-dimensional reference that would prove to be the next best thing to having Bruce scanned.

"This does not just look like Bruce Lee. It is Bruce Lee. The way he carries himself, his fighting stance, his rippling physique, devastating speed, signature strikes and accompanying yells, whoops and shrieks.

"We have summoned this pinnacle of human strength, speed and spirit into our world and it has truly been an honor and a career highlight for us to do so."

The installment will be the first UFC game since Electronic Arts gained control over the series, which was previously handled by THQ.

In CVG's EA Sports UFC preview we noted the high graphical fidelity of the installment, writing that "in EA Sports UFC you will, we're told, be able to see the entire arena reflected in your fighter's retinas - if you can somehow get close enough."