Bruce Lee. Marital arts legend, action film star and founder of the first modern mixed martial arts system (Jeet Kun Do), will appear in the new EA Sports UFC fighting game. But only to those who pre-order on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Developers at Electronic Arts (EA) has been teasing a mystery fighter for days but Lee's inclusion in the game seemed like a given to them. “[It's] the most ridiculous question,” says creative director Brian Hayes, because Lee's system and philosophies “laid the groundwork for the modern mixed martial arts,” and the fastest growing sport in the world.
"I can't conceive of a universe where bringing these two things together doesn't make sense," he said on the EA Sports blog. "I know there are going to be countless fans that feel the exact same way and they will be eager play with such a legend in the UFC Octagon. I am one of them."
EA worked with Bruce Lee Enterprises – his estate – which provided the development team with digital references spanning Lee's acting career. It also included behind the scenes shots for specific facial and body expressions.
"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," art director Ian Lloyd said.
"Seeing Bruce Lee walkout and enter the Octagon to fight in the UFC for the first time is a surreal and truly sensational experience," he continued.
Gamers can get the playable Bruce Lee by pre-ordering EA Sports UFC ahead of the June 17 release. Fans can pre-order the game to get instant day-one access to Bruce, or they can complete the game’s career mode at Pro difficulty to unlock him.
Wherein they'll then experience a feeling akin to seeing that Tupac hologram walking out on stage at Coachella back in 2012.
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” - Bruce Lee