EA Sports boss Peter Moore has brushed off UFC copycat allegations by explaining that Mixed Martial Arts has been in development for at least two years already.
"I know there has been some recent discussion about EA SPORTS bringing a challenger to this sport," says Moore on his blog, referencing yesterday's outburst by Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. "I love mixed martial arts, and we've been working on a game concept since I came to [EA Sports] two years ago.
"I have great respect for the organisations and individuals that have invested in the sport's growth over the past decade - so this is one that is near and dear to me and I'm excited to see such good progress to date.
"I trace my MMA videogame roots back to my support of Crave's UFC title on the Dreamcast in 2000," he adds, "and have been a fan ever since. Our title will bring both innovation and further authenticity to mixed martial arts, not to mention a strong global publishing network that will help spread the sport's popularity around the world."
Dana White had claimed EA snubbed the idea of a UFC game when approached a year and a half ago, but upon seeing the success of UFC 2009 Undisputed has swiftly changed tack.
"EA Sports told us, 'You're not a real sport. We wouldn't touch this thing. We want nothing to do with this,'" said White. "Boy, they got over that real quick, didn't they?"
EA unveiled Mixed Martial Arts at E3 back in June. The plan is to alternate the series with Fight Night to produce a fighting game each year, starting with the inaugural MMA next year.
Yet despite Moore's claims of a long development, nothing has been shown of MMA so far.
We do know, however, that no UFC fighters will appear in the game, as Dana White has banned them from doing so.