The legacy of martial arts legend Bruce Lee continues to live on, as EA Sports have confirmed that the Jeet Kune Do pioneer will make another appearance in their upcoming MMA simulation, UFC 3.
The Enter the Dragon star passed away in 1973 having never fought professionally, but he has long been heralded as being the most influential martial artist of the 21st century. Indeed, UFC president Dana White once called Lee “the father of mixed martial arts”, and a number of world-class MMA athletes have credited Lee as being influential to their career in one way or another – from inspiring them through his movie roles, to his philosophical approach to training.
It came as little surprise, therefore, when EA Sports elected to include the late martial artist as an unlockable character in both of its forays in MMA combat so far: 2014’s UFC and 2016’s UFC 2. This week, the developer confirmed that Lee will once again return in next month’s UFC 3, which releases on PS4 and Xbox One on February 2.
As such an influential figure in not only martial arts, but pop culture as well, it’s little wonder gaming developers have long-included the star in their releases: Lee’s likeness has been recreated in digital form countless times over the years; most recently, in the form of an online slot game, Bruce Lee: Fire of the Dragon. The title is hosted by iGaming hub Caesars online casino, with new users able to collect a $10 no deposit welcome offer to try out the game. Going back further, Lee has appeared in a range of console titles, from an eponymous platform/beat ’em up released for the Atari 8-bit family in 1984, to Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon, which launched on the original Xbox in 2002.
And now, some 45 years since his death, EA has confirmed that all users who own, and have an EA account associated with, either of the first two games in its flagship MMA series, will have instant day-one access to Lee as an in-game playable fighter. The Hong Kong and US dual-national will be available to compete in the bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions, and his overall rating is expected to be on-par with his previous iterations – sitting somewhere between 90 and 93.
If you haven’t played either of EA Sports’ previous UFC titles, however, it doesn’t mean you’ll be completely left out in the cold: Lee will also be unlockable by completing UFC 3’s career mode on any difficulty and having your fighter inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. With the first game in the series also being available via EA Access, subscribers will merely have to download the title from the Vault in order to be eligible for the special returning user bonus.
EA has a long history of including pop culture stars as unlockable or DLC characters in their sports series, so expect at least a handful of other cameos from some well-known faces when UFC 3 releases next month.