Despite recent (and frequent) controversy, such as the recent announcement that microtransactions were returning to Star Wars: Battlefront II, Electronic Arts continues to push forward. On Feb. 2., 2018, it released EA Sports UFC 3, the third entry in its mildly received UFC series. Headlining the third entry as the staple cover fighter is Conor McGregor, famed ruler of the Octagon and award-winning mixed martial artist.
Though Ultimate Fighting Championship fans should be thrilled over the release of a new UFC entry, discussion leading up to the third game’s release has been heavily focused on the implementation of microtransactions and loot crates in EA’s games. After the release of Battlefront II, Electronic Arts came under fire for the game’s initial pay-to-win structure, making gamers weary of the publisher’s future releases. Unprotected from scrutiny was EA’s sports line-up, including UFC 3.
When it comes to microtransactions in the third UFC entry, EA decided to take a more cautious approach. Though they are included in the final version of the game and early reportes from sources like Astute Gaming claimed rare boosters could be purchased to improve fighter stats, EA later clarified that these features would only be available in the game’s “Ultimate Team” mode. According to EA in a statement to IGN, “There are no purchasable fighter upgrades in any other mode.”
UFC 3’s “Ultimate Team” mode allows players to collect and play as real UFC fighters or press forward with customized fighters in a series of scenario-based solo challenges or online matches. Microtransactions for “Ultimate Team” will unlock new techniques and abilities that, according to EA, are included “to prevent uneven match ups as much as possible.”
Along with “Ultimate Team,” UFC 3 introduces the G.O.A.T. Career Mode. Players will take their favorite fighters through the gamut of building a successful career. Outside of the Octagon, between fights, players will handle promos and build hype for future fights all to score more attractive contracts and the fame that comes with being a true ultimate fighter and the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time).
UFC 3 also features a tournament mode, a bracketed series of elimination rounds. Fighters will proceed through the long line-up of opponents, carrying over any damage or fatigue suffered in prior bouts. Across all game modes, players will get to choose between the largest roster of fighters EA has offered in its UFC series. McGregor, Georges St-Pierre, Bruce Lee, Amanda Nunes, Alexis Davis, Cody Garbrandt, and 228 others.