EA Sports UFC 3 coming in early 2018 (update)

Robbie Lawler in 2016’s EA Sports UFC 2.
EA Canada/Electronic Arts

EA Sports UFC 3, the third entry in Electronic Arts’ series of simulation mixed martial arts games, is scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of EA’s 2018 fiscal year, the company announced today.

That’s the first quarter of the 2018 calendar year — the game is slated to arrive between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2018. EA appears to be on a two-year cycle with its UFC franchise: The original EA Sports UFC launched in June 2014, and its sequel, EA Sports UFC 2, debuted in mid-March 2016. EA did not specify platforms except to say that EA Sports UFC 3 is coming to “console,” so it’s safe to assume it will be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at least, like the first two entries in the franchise.

EA Sports UFC 3 is currently the only game that EA is scheduled to release during fiscal Q4 2018, as you can see in the image below from the company’s upcoming slate. However, the schedule applies only for games that EA has already discussed publicly; it’s possible, even likely, that the company will release some titles it has not yet announced between now and April 2018. We now know that BioWare’s next new game — an original action-adventure title with its own universe — won’t make it by then.

EA Sports UFC 3 coming in early 2018 (update) Electronic Arts

As for the rest of EA’s current fiscal year, the company is not planning to release any games between now and June 30, when the first quarter will end. The second fiscal quarter, however, will be very busy — for the first time in two years, there will be four EA Sports titles launching during that window. Madden NFL traditionally kicks off the season in late August. NHL follows in early September, and FIFA and NBA Live bring up the rear at the end of the month.

It’s worth noting that basketball fans have learned to take an “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude with EA Sports. NBA Live 18 will be the first entry in the franchise since 2015’s NBA Live 16 — EA said a year ago that it planned to release a new game in early 2017, but later pushed that title back to the fall, where it will launch as NBA Live 18.

EA’s third fiscal quarter runs from October through December, and the company is currently planning to release two major games during it. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is slated for Nov. 17, and the first Need for Speed game in two years is also scheduled for Q3. Developer Ghost Games said today that the unnamed title will allow for solo offline play.

Update: EA announced during an investor call today that it has delayed BioWare’s new IP into the 2019 fiscal year, which runs from April 2018 through March 2019. We’ve edited the article to reflect this.

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