Former boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is a pre-order bonus character in EA Sports UFC 2, a decision which has courted controversy among some corners of the fanbase, and creative director Brian Hayes has said that, for these players, there will be “no sufficient justification” for his inclusion.
In an interview with TrustedReviews, Hayes discussed the decision to bring Tyson into the game.
“There’s definitely names that have been mentioned before that, for some people it makes sense, for some people it doesn’t,” Hayes said. “I think with Mike Tyson, he’s similar to Bruce Lee [the bonus character for EA Sports UFC] in some respects, if not in terms of like his martial arts repertoire, or what have you, but he’s similar in terms of like how well known he is as a combat sports figure/athlete.
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“There’s very few people as recognisable as Mike Tyson, or historically more fearsome.”
Hayes goes on to discuss some of the feedback the inclusion has received.
“Myself as a long-time boxing fan, as a long-time mixed martial arts fan, I can see people saying ‘it’s kind of ridiculous that he’s in the game’” before going on to acknowledge that these fans have been catered for with other special guest characters, “if you’re a mixed martial arts purist, then you should get excited about Bas Rutten and Kazushi Sakuraba as the pre-order characters as well, because those are the ones that are in there as a tip of the hat to you guys. But yeah, Mike Tyson and Bruce Lee are just, sort of, characters that transcend more than just the particular era of martial arts or sports that they were involved in themselves and it made enough sense to enough number of people that we included them both.”
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Hayes did concede that, for some, there won’t be any way of justifying the inclusion of Mike Tyson in UFC 2.
“For some people there will be no justification sufficient to warrant either Bruce Lee or Mike Tyson’s inclusion in the game but, you know, again, for those people that’s fine, that’s why we put Bas Rutten and Sakuraba in the game.”
EA Sports UFC 2 launches on Xbox One and PS4 on March 17, while EA Access members on Xbox One can get an early trial of the game from March 10.