UFC 4 is on its way: but we don’t know much more than that. Until then, anyone thinking of placing a bet on when it might be released would be better off spending their money at a live dealer casino NJ, as we’ve had no formal announcement and very little in the way of clues as yet. The content of the game is also being kept strictly under wraps so that the best anyone can do is to indulge in some informed speculation.
The big reveal
All this may be set to change as Electronic Arts (EA) has given a date when UFC 4 will be officially revealed. That date is July 11, and it will happen alongside UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi and via pay-per-view. This announcement was made on the official poster for the event, although you could have missed it if you didn’t look closely enough. That does mean we should have a lot more information about what UFC 4 will look like very soon, what new features it might include, and who the new fighters might be.
Joshua vs. Fury
There are currently strong rumors that UK boxers Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury will be included as characters in the new game, and it seems logical to assume that they’ll be paired up against each other. Fans have long imagined what the outcome of a face-off between the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion and the WBC champion might be, and UFC 4 players may well be the first to find out.
If Joshua and Fury are included, this will be the first time the UFC franchise has included active boxing champions in its roster, though Mike Tyson was featured in UFC 3. At first, it was assumed that the boxers would be unlockable characters, but it’s since been suggested that they could be unlocked by completing the career mode, making them playable characters. Their inclusion also adds strength to the notion that UFC 4 could include a boxing-only mode, harking back to the franchise’s predecessor, the Fight Night boxing series.
Other new fighters
Other new fighters highly likely to be included in UFC 4 have been named as Alexander Volkanovski, Weili Zhang, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Dominick Reyes. As the current featherweight UFC champion, Volkanovski is a no-brainer, while women’s strawweight champion Zhang should also be an obvious choice, especially given her huge East Asian following. Heavyweight star Rozenstruik would be another fan favorite, and even though Reyes recently suffered the first defeat of his career at UFC 247, he remains the #1 light heavyweight.
UFC 4 has been in development since early 2019. An intriguing survey went out to fans last year asking what their response would be to some features if they were included in an unnamed UFC game. They included intuitive, intention-based grappling and submission; universal player profiling and game progression; experience points that could be used to unlock cosmetic content; and UFC blitz tournaments with up to 64 players. Other suggestions included slow-motion replays, quick fight mode, online gyms, arcade-inspired knockout mode, and career mode coach.
Each new iteration of the UFC franchise has seen dramatic improvements in graphics and gameplay, and this will likely continue to be the case with UFC 4. Career mode looks likely to be revamped and expanded as well, possibly including Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series and Apex Center options. An improved story mode would also be very much appreciated.
Looking at the suggestions in the survey described above, the changes most likely to be implemented would seem to be the introduction of a blitz tournament or a battle royale mode, and an improved replay system that takes full advantage of the game’s always excellent graphics. With the growth of esports, it would be surprising if some kind of online league system for EA UFC wasn’t introduced as well.
One thing we don’t know yet is the game’s release date. There’s been a new UFC game roughly every two years since the first one in June 2014, with UFC 3 released in February 2018, so UFC 4 is already overdue. When it was revealed last year that Jon Anik had finished recording a voiceover, it was hoped that the game would be out early this year. Expectations were then pushed back to the fall. With coronavirus playing havoc with release schedules across the board, however, an early 2021 release now seems much more likely.
With UFC 4 set to be compatible with both current and next-generation consoles, a 2021 release would line it up alongside the PS5 and Xbox Series X, making it another exciting addition to those platforms.