CCC: And, last question about the two year cycle I swear-
CCC: I know, it's getting to you, isn't it? Do you think you're going to stay on an irregular cycle or is it going to switch to an annual one now that you've got this entry almost ready to go out the door?
WB: I think—that's not my decision—if it was, I would say we stay on two-year. Unfortunately, there's people above me that make those calls, but I think it shows in the product. When people play this, they'll see, with this extra time, how much better of a game we're able to make. And to switch back to that old format won't give us the time to make even more adjustments and make the game even better. I think, hopefully, we'll stay on this two-year cycle.
CCC: Speaking of that, looking forward, what kinds of changes would you like to make? I mean, what things do you still want to do that you didn't accomplish in Undisputed 3?
WB: We're always trying to find ways to refine our combat system and new modes that we can implement. I can't give too many of them away though, unfortunately.
CCC: There's gotta be surprises, but I just want any big thing that you really wanted to do this year that, for whatever reason, didn't make the cut.
WB: [Sighs] Well, my PR lady will kill me, but one of the things—I mean, obviously the UFC has kind of ingrained themselves with Fox, they're on Fox now, and they acquired the Strikeforce organization as well, so that's another organization that they absorbed with their fighters. So we're keeping an eye on what the UFC does and we want to try to stay in line with that as well. For UFC 3, we weren't able to get the Fox broadcast graphics in there; the Strikeforce fighters, we weren't able to get those guys in there. That's something I'd like to do in the future.
CCC: I'd like to see that, too. Were there any worries about overcomplicating the game? Because, in this edition, you have a lot new options for both offense and defense—and a lot of them do simplify things—but also you have some brand new—like feints and… I'm trying to think of something off the top of my head that was really-
WB: Ground sways?
CCC: Ground sways, absolutely. Even being able to catch and go directly into a submission. Do you worry about overcomplicating or do you think that these are going to be absorbed and embraced by the fan base?
WB: I think yeah, given time, as with any new game, once you pick it up, there's going to be some learning to be had, and that's true of any game. But with our game, we wanted to educate. We know a lot of people that, when they pick up a game, they don't want to sit through a long tutorial. So we introduced a new system that will give you tutorial prompts as you're playing the game to kind of tell you what you need to do in those positions.
CCC: Those almost worked for me like a little cheat against the computer, because it would give me a prompt a little before something would happen so it would be like, "Oh, he's about to go for a takedown, awesome! I can just defend against it!"
WB: [Laughs] It was set up that way on purpose, in that you had time to react to what your opponent was going to do. Yeah, education is something that we really wanted to focus on early on for this game. When 2010 came out, we just kind of assumed that people played 2009, that they knew what they were doing in 2010. That was one of our shortcomings and we wanted to fix that.
CCC: I remember I didn't get interested—really interested—until 2010 and I pick it up and I'm like "What the… What the hell am I doing!?"
WB: Especially in career mode, that's one of the things that if I could go back and do it over… Career mode had a lot of systems it it—you're managing stats and you're raising them and you're training with camps and you're picking up new moves and you were just kind of dumped in and we hadn't really explained what you're supposed to do. So, career mode this year, you have Mike Goldberg who's going to guide you through your career mode and tell you every aspect of your career mode so you know what's going on.
CCC: I have to tell you, by the time I got through his initial tutorials, I felt pretty confident in building a fighter on my own. I was happy to see that.
CCC: So, personally, what's your favorite addition to this entry of UFC?
WB: Obviously it's gonna be Pride… I joined THQ back in 2006 when Pride was still around and they were winding down, stopping their last events, and we'd always say it'd be cool if we could get Pride fighters in the UFC and how cool if we could have Cro Cop and Nogueira and those guys in the UFC. And then UFC bought Pride and then those fighters started making their way over to the UFC. It was like "Wow, I can't believe this is happening!" So, to pay homage to those guys back when they were in their prime, in that era, we wanted to include Pride this year with those fighters with the stats and movesets that they had at that time. That's probably my biggest features, 'cause you have the soccer kicks, you have the foot stomps, you have the knees to the head-
CCC: Which look brutal, by the way.
WB: [Laughs] There's really nothing like when you get somebody in sprawl and you knee them to the head and then soccer kick them and then foot stomp them to the face; it's just a lot of fun.
CCC: Pretty much one of the most visceral things in sports gaming.
WB: [Laughs] Yeah, it's pretty brutal.
CCC: So, were there any unique challenges in working with a sports organization like the UFC?
WB: The UFC has been great. I think our producer, Nevin, whenever he speaks of the UFC, he pretty much nails it; they're just the ideal people to work with. They've been very, very helpful with giving us access to the fighters, giving us access to trainers, their library of fights. One of the futures that we included in career mode this year is this live movies feature, basically. So, when you're going for your career, for example the first time you lose a fight, you'll see this video montage of fighters talking about what it was like for them-
CCC: I saw this one fast.
WB: [Laughs] Well, good thing for you, there's multiple variations of that so, each time you play through it, and lose a fight you'll get a different one.
CCC: Right? I'll see them all in like… Five to ten minutes.
WB: Yeah, the UFC gave us access to those and we were able to get access to fighters. We submitted a bunch of questions to fighters for them to answer, so you're going to see, basically, unique stuff. It's gonna be stuff that's never been aired, it's exclusive to our game.
CCC: And you said they filmed this, did they do the editing?
WB: Yeah, they put it together for us. Their guys that do all the editing for the countdown shows and some of their other pieces, they edited it together for us. They've been the best partner to work with. I worked with Joe Silva a lot on trying to determine the roster and the stats of fighters, so any fighters out there reading this, any fans out there reading this saying "How come so-and-so's stats are this?" well, you've got to talk to the UFC and Joe Silva 'cause it's a back and forth with him and he's got final say.
CCC: Good to know. Wes, thank you so much.
WB: Thank you so much, man.
CCC: It's been a pleasure.
Date: February 15, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*