In-game action from Kung Fu Factory’s “Supremacy MMA” video
Daryl Pitts, president and co-founder of Los Angeles-based game
design studio Kung Fu
Factory, recently spoke with Sherdog.com about his company’s
MMA video game release, “MMA Supremacy.” Rated “M” for blood,
violence, partial nudity and strong language, the game was released
on Sept. 23 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Pitts: “Supremacy MMA” is a no-holds-barred mixed martial arts
fighting game. Unlike the other big guys, since we’re not based on
any official organization, we instead tell our own fictionalized
stories of the lives of our underground, bareknuckle fighters.
Pitts: Our team previously had experience working on games such as
“UFC: Undisputed” and “Mortal Kombat,” so we brainstormed on ways
we could combine our love of MMA and the over-the-top silliness of
“Mortal Kombat.” “Supremacy MMA” is the result.
Pitts: The game which is closest to ours is “Ga-Rou-Den: Break
Blow.” Many people in the U.S. don’t know that game, but it was a
fun, arcade-style martial arts game which came out in Japan a few
years ago for the PlayStation 2. A couple of our guys worked on
that game, so that was probably our largest influence. In terms of
visuals, we targeted feature films such as “Se7en” as our goal, so
our character models and environment renders are not “video gamey”
and are more realistic in terms of textures, lighting and
Pitts: Of course, we are fighting game fans. And we are also huge
MMA fans, so we watch and attend everything we can. Personally, I
like unorthodox fighters like Lyoto
Machida, and in the old days, I loved [Kazushi] Sakuraba. As a
fan, it’s really exciting to watch guys try to take risks and to
utilize different styles, like karate and pro-wrestling moves, in
the cage. Recently, I’ve gotten a lot of satisfaction out of
watching the lighter weight classes in Bellator. The smaller guys
are pretty flexible and have excellent cardio ... so it makes for
more exciting, dynamic fights. We also go to local King of the Cage
fights when they are in the LA area. These guys have such passion.
We love their energy. Fictional fighters? My favorite is Voldo from
“Soul Calibur.” Everyone hates him because he sucks at strikes and
he’s so creepy looking and so unorthodox, but I love to dazzle my
friends with his surprise, awesome throws and countering
Pitts: To be honest, there was a worry but not a real concern. The
sport has so much momentum right now; it’s more successful than
ever. We’re confident that people can make the distinction between
reality and the fantasy of a video game. My friends and family are
all crazy for MMA, and whenever Dream or Bellator or Strikeforce
are on cable, they are glued to the screen and captivated by the
action. When UFC goes on Fox, the popularity of MMA will really
explode, since even casual fans will be able to see it.
Pitts: It’s what we expected after our focus groups. People either
love our game or they hate it. Hardcore gamers who were expecting a
real-life simulation like “UFC: Undisputed” or “EA Sports MMA” are
disappointed, but casual fans appreciate what we’ve done. They
understand what we were going for. They especially like the
storytelling and the focus on the fighters’ lives ... and the
differentiation we made between the fighter styles. Muay Thai is
very different from karate, which is very different from wrestling,
Pitts: The one big thing I wish we could add is more of an in-depth
tutorial/training mode. From the feedback we’re getting, players
who spend the time to learn our combat system and leverage the
difference between the fighter styles are more satisfied with our
game. We’re an independent studio, and since our development team
was literally just a fraction of the size of the big studios in
terms of resources, we had to carefully select areas to focus
effort. Unfortunately, the tutorial/training areas got simplified.
However, we have some nice surprises in store for our fans in our
forthcoming PlayStation Vita version coming out early [next] year.
Stay tuned for details.