UFC 2009 Undisputed Q & A
By Jonathan Gorajski
with Neven Dravinski
It has all been a week since the demo has arrived on the Playstation network and XBOX LIVE. And we are still a month away from UFC 2009:UNDISPUTED to hit store shelves. I am sure after a few hours a lot of us were curious as to what more this game does have to offer besides what it shows on the demo. THQ and Neven Dravinski were kind enough to sit down with MMANEWS.COM for an exclusive interview on the upcoming MMA game coming out MAY 19th, 2009.
When did development start on UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED?
Neven: Development started about 2 and a half years ago when we talked with Dana White and the UFC about making a game. Shortly after we started production and it has been in development ever since. And Dana will pull no punches and make sure to say that the first games sucked, so there was absolutely NO pressure by the UFC (LAUGHS). They worked really well with us on getting all the information we needed to create the most realistic MMA game possible.
How many total fighters in the game?
Neven: The game will have a total of 80 fighters to start off with.
Will there be un-lockable fighters throughout the game?
Neven: Yes, there will be 2 bonus fighters that can be downloaded if you pre-order the game exclusively at GAMESTOP. “The Ultimate Fighter” winners from season 8, Light Heavyweight Ryan Bader and Lightweight Efrain Escudero, will be the un-lockable fighters.
Was there any particular reason Randy Couture was omitted from the game?
Neven: No, it was just decision made by the UFC and Randy Couture.
How extensive is “Create A Fighter?”
Neven: I’d say pretty well. Tons of options for skin colors, shorts, eye placement. Creating a specific fighter using limited “skill points,” that can be spread out through many different fight styles to give your fighter more dimension. No player can be created with maximized ratings for every category. Using all your “skill points” on your fighters striking will detriment his ground game. Also it works the same way if you were to create a submission specialist with less of a stand up ability. It’s totally up to the creator on how he wants to create his particular fighter.
Are fighter entrances in the game?
Neven: No, all fights will start right at the “Tale of the Tape.”
Can you use your “C.A.F” on XBOX LIVE or PS Network?
Neven: Absolutely! We have 2 ways of doing it. You can create a fighter just for online play which will have about 75% of the points he would earn in the career mode. The other is creating a fighter and putting him through career mode, building up his attributes and then using him online.
Can the in-game roster be edited? For example clothing, profile, ratings?
Neven: No, the roster that is in the game can not be edited.
What can we expect from Career mode?
Neven: You work your way up throughout the UFC. You start at the very bottom and work your way up through the rankings to earn different fights and title shots, then ultimately defending the title and finally retiring. Throughout “Career mode” you will get emails from Dana White, Joe Silva, different training camps and different sponsors. Different training camps will help you earn more attribute points and help you to learn moves that you haven’t “learned” yet, like the SUPERMAN PUNCH. Each fight you win you will earn yourself what is called CRED which is like a combination of money and popularity. Real world sponsors like TAPOUT will offer you CRED if you wear their sponsorship during your fights. CRED can eventually get you better equipment that will help your attribute points. There are no cheesy mini-games about pushing a weight bar up to build your strength. You will get to spar with fighters who have similar fight styles as your real opponent does in your fight coming up. Joe Silva will send you emails about different fights he can offer you. He might offer you a higher ranked fighter that is worth more CRED and get you closer to a title shot but will be more difficult or he can offer you an easier fight that will be worth less CRED and wont move you in the ranks as much. I think ultimately it’s very deep and has many options throughout career mode. It’s definitely going to be hard to put the controller down and take some time to complete.
Is Mario Yamasaki the only ref in the game?
Neven: Mario Yamaski, Herb Dean and Steve Mazzagatti (with the mustache) will all be referees in charge of the contests.
For a regular exhibition fight, is it set up per weight class or can you have an open weight bout?
Neven: Certain guys can move up and down in weight class who has been known to do that. You definitely won’t see a Brock Lesnar vs. BJ Penn.
How complete is the demo? Would it be the same fight the way we would play it if we were to play the final version?
Neven: It will be fairly representative of the final product. We used “Shogun” Rua and Chuck Liddell for the demo because they each used their own martial arts.
What is your favorite part of the game?
Neven: I think that we put together the best MMA game ever made. A game that is true to the sport and represents the UFC well. A lot of the stuff with the ground and the stand up that looks really good when it comes together. When players fight, we wanted them to feel like they are really watching a UFC PPV and that their experience will help them enjoy the game that much more. The fighters look great and the controls work really well for what we tried to do.
What can we expect from future UFC/THQ games that you think you may not of have enough time for on this years game?
Neven: We would love to use more fighters and more fight styles. We look at this like something we want to do for years and years. The game never stops being in development. We’re always looking to improve this game for any subsequent installments.
Does the UFC/THQ plan on releasing games on a yearly basis?
Neven: That would be the hope. It’s all up to the consumer. We are cautiously optimistic!
Well, thanks to Kristina Kirk, Neven Dravinski and THQ for helping us make this interview possible! We look forward to this highly anticipated game in the long weeks ahead.
Neven: Thank you guys for the time!