MMA hopes to achieve "Madden effect"

And turn people onto mixed martial arts.

EA Sports hopes that its upcoming MMA game, previewed on Eurogamer today, will have a positive impact on mixed martial arts as a sport.

"What we're hoping to achieve is something akin to the kind of effect you saw with Madden years ago," designer Hendrick Rivero explained at a recent press event.

"MMA's very popular, but there's perhaps boxing fans out there who don't understand the game or think it's too technical. We want to be able to educate people to the complexities of the sport."

EA Sports MMA is due out for PS3 and Xbox 360 next year, and while it isn't bound to a promotion of the same scale as UFC - the subject of THQ's very successful UFC 2009: Undisputed - publisher EA hopes that it can turn this to its advantage by bringing in a wide range of fighters from unrelated leagues.

Another aspect of EA's approach is to feed back into the sport on a grass roots level, Rivero said.

"EA's being quite serious about funding minor leagues, and this is all part of the same thing: showing people what a great sport this is," he explained.

Check out our EA Sports MMA preview to see how the videogame version is working out.

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