Motion-based fitness titles may have only been around for a few years but they’ve achieved a great deal in that time. In fact, they’re more popular than fitness DVDs.
Nintendo’s Wii Fit has sold over 4m copies in the UK since April 2008, while Davina McCall’s best-selling fitness DVDs have sold over 830,000 copies in the last four years.
But despite the success of such titles, fitness games have generally retained a family-friendly image and stuck to general workouts. THQ is changing all this.
UFC Personal Trainer is the first game that focuses on mixed martial arts exercises to keep gamers fighting fit.
Forget the sensible workouts of Get Fit with Mel B and Wii Fit – this game features tougher punch and kick-based regimes, as well as different types of press-ups and more.
“UFC Personal Trainer provides the consumer with a lean, faster and fitter physique,” says John Aikins, THQ’s associate product marketing manager.
There are 51 routines, 70 exercises and the ability to create custom routines, while 30-day and 60-day programs help the user lose weight or build strength.
In Ultimate Training Mode, gamers can go up against UFC personalities in a range of rhythm and timing-based agility drills. Gamers can unlock in-game rewards and compete against friends.
The man’s fitness game
THQ says UFC Personal Trainer’s martial arts-inspired exercises will especially appeal to male gamers who want to exercise more regularly.
“Our marketing focus is based around two different audiences,” adds Aikins. “Firstly, the UFC fan who isn’t currently going to the gym.
"Secondly, the lapsed exercise male. This is our guy who has put on some weight because his metabolism’s slowed down, but his drinking and eating habits haven’t changed since his early 20s.”
UFC Personal Trainer presents a unique offering in the increasingly competitive fitness game genre, and one that is more than capable of attracting the male gamer.
THQ has a £1m four-week TV and video-on-demand campaign running, with sponsorship around UFC programming on ESPN. As well as print advertorials, online ads will target fitness, tech and men’s lifestyle sites.
The Xbox 360 Kinect SKU features exclusive fighters for the Ultimate Training Mode, including Dan Hardy and Diego Sanchez. It also boasts voice commands, a full-body tracking system and nine exclusive workouts.
What is UFC?
Ultimate Fighting Championship is a sport that allows participants to fight in a cage and use different fighting styles. The game boasts the official UFC licence, as does THQ’s separate UFC Undisputed fighting game series.