Fight Night: EA needs to bring back the classic boxing franchise

Boxing is booming again, that makes the lack of a major boxing game even more shocking.

Tom Owen by Tom Owen
fight night tyson fury next gen ps5 xbox

One boxing match has helped re-invigorate an entire sport.

Fury v Wilder II was a hugely successful heavyweight bout, which has acted as another indicator to EA Sport there is a demand for a new release to their historic boxing franchise.

With the next-gen consoles on the horizon, this could be the perfect time to get a reboot to a much-loved franchise just in time for the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

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History of Fight Night

There has been some kind of boxing game on most consoles since the late 90s. EA started out with a classic in Knockout Kings but their real success came when they converted to Fight Night 2004 on the PS2 and Xbox.

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They brought the realism and official names that had brought success in other sports titles like FIFA and Madden. Seeing the sweat fly off your opponents’ face whilst landing a sweet right hook was incredibly satisfying.

fight night champions
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Fight Night peaked in 2009 with Fight Night Round 4 on the PS3. Whilst the PS3 wasn’t a huge success, the game received a great rating and did well in the charts.

However, EA Sports could be accused of resting on their laurels and ultimately great visuals weren’t enough to keep the franchise going. Players like games for gameplay, the visuals are the cherry on top. This was proved when Wii Boxing proved to be such a massive success. On the completely opposite side of the spectrum, the game was fun and open to anyone of any skill level.

The signs are there

Boxing generally had a lul in recent years. With the rise of UFC and MMA more generally, along with a lack of interesting heavyweights to follow there has been a lack of interest.

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There have been some huge signs recently that have turned this tide. So much so that late last year, legendary promoter Eddie Hearn mentioned in an interview he has messaged EA Sports to bring back Fight Night.

Hearn has also been heavily involved in the YouTuber cross-over boxing events with the likes of KSV v Logan Paul II. This fight was a professional fight but between two of the biggest YouTubers in the world – and people tuned in. A lot of people. They proved more popular than some of the biggest names in boxing. Whilst some are skeptical, there’s no doubting this creates demand for boxing and therefore, boxing games.

fight night round 4
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With over a decade since the peak of boxing games, we are long overdue. Focus on delivering simple but exciting gameplay that isn’t a case of repeating the same combos and it feels like this is an open goal to success.

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If EA Sports don’t, then expect to see someone else do it.

Tom Owen

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