Bruce Lee's daughter doesn't have time for EA Sports UFC haters

It doesn't matter that Bruce Lee never fought competitively because video games are fantasy, Shannon Lee tells us in a new interview.

by

When EA Sports announced this week that legendary martial artist and movie actor Bruce Lee would appear in EA Sports UFC as a playable character, some people scoffed at the news and pointed out that he never actually fought competitively. This might be true, but according to his daughter Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee is, in some ways, more of a real fighter than a lot of MMA brawlers today because he "lived and breathed" martial arts.

"I think that people who have negative comments [about Bruce Lee's inclusion in EA Sports UFC] are misguided for the most part," Shannon Lee told GameSpot this week. "Some people don't realize that my father was more than just an actor, that he was truly a real martial artist. In a lot of ways more so than a lot of the fighters today because he lived and breathed martial arts. He often said everything he learned in his life he learned from the practice of martial arts. So I think there's some misunderstanding in that regard.

"I think some of the purists out there [will say] 'Oh, Bruce Lee never would have competed in real life...' And my answer to that is this isn't real life; this is fun, Bruce Lee liked to have fun."

"I think some of the purists out there [will say] 'Oh, Bruce Lee never would have competed in real life...' And my answer to that is this isn't real life; this is fun, Bruce Lee liked to have fun. This is an opportunity to live out a fighting fantasy," she added. "And I think we should all be grateful that the technology exists to have some fun in this way. And there are just some people who are haters [laughs]. And there's not a whole lot I can do for those people than just to tell them that they might enjoy their lives a lot more if they stopped worrying about everybody else so much."

Also in our interview with Shannon Lee, she recalled being very enthusiastic when EA originally approached her to ask about including Bruce Lee in their upcoming UFC game.

"I was super-excited. But as with everything, you always have to take a beat and really check in with yourself and see how you feel about it," Shannon Lee recalled. "And honestly, when I checked in with myself, I was really excited about it. I know that there are purists out there who will say 'oh, Bruce Lee didn't compete in real life!" This is a video game and it's meant to be fun."

"And I think there are a lot of people out there who don't really know that my father was the caliber of martial artist that he was," she added. "They see him in movies and so they think he was primarily an actor, but that couldn't be further from the truth."

One of the reasons why Shannon Lee was not only OK with, but excited about her father's inclusion in EA Sports UFC as a playable character was because she believes EA has the right technology in place to create a virtual version of her father with a high degree of fidelity and authenticity.

Just look at some of the images and you'll likely agree that the power of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 has allowed for an eerily accurate representation of Bruce Lee. But while other fighters like Chuck Liddell or Ronda Rousey had their bodies scanned in for EA Sports UFC to ensure authenticity, this was obviously not possible for Bruce Lee. This was a hurdle EA could not overcome, but Shannon Lee had an interesting workaround. In the 1960s, filmmakers made a mask of Bruce Lee's face for the movie Green Hornet and Shannon held onto it over the years. She sent it to EA and they were able to scan it to create Bruce Lee's face with a high degree of accuracy.

Though the final version of Bruce Lee that you see in EA Sports UFC looks incredible, it definitely took a lot of work and refinement, Shannon Lee said. "There were definitely points where I said 'Ooh, they've got to change that' and they did," Lee said. "I really can't say enough that they have worked very closely with me and my team to make it the best presentation that they can."

Bruce Lee's legacy is forever preserved in movies where he's seen as a total master of martial arts. But what if a novice player uploads a video of themselves playing horribly with Bruce Lee? Will this tarnish Lee's legacy? No, Shannon Lee says. She even encourages newcomers to play as Bruce Lee because doing so will honor his legacy, she says.

"That doesn't concern me. If anybody was the perpetual student, it was my father. If they're not good players and they're using him to get better, I also think that's something that fits in perfectly with his legacy of...he used to always say 'you're only defeated if you accept defeat.'"

In movies like Enter the Dragon, Bruce Lee is an indomitable force that eviscerates his enemies with ease. But this doesn't mean he's going to be a 100-rated character in EA Sports UFC, creative director Brian Hayes told us.

"We're evaluating Bruce Lee as he was known, from the people who trained with him, as opposed to 'Let's put him in the game as the unstoppable force that was depicted in cinema.' People that had the experience of training with Bruce Lee will, without fail, speak about his tremendous athleticism, his speed, his strength relative to his size, his commitment to exploring innovative training techniques," Hayes said. "We're taking the approach that he's a tremendous athlete that is trained, primarily, in striking disciplines, but expanded that as he grew as a martial artist to include an appreciation for how important fighting on the ground was as well. With our recreation of him in the game, he is the lightning-fast, lethal striker that you expect from what he was in reality. But perhaps only a capable grappler on the ground, as opposed to just being the guy that's rated 100 in everything.

Hayes said

"For us, this is about creating the most authentic version of Bruce Lee we possibly can, from what he looks like visually to how he actually moves inside the Octagon" -- EA Sports UFC creative director Brian Hayes

We also asked Hayes if including a legendary, and no longer living, character like Bruce Lee was, in a way, selling out his memory. Hayes shook this off, saying he doesn't see it as overstepping any boundaries, going on to explain that he is a Bruce Lee super-fan and making clear that EA went to great lengths to ensure the legendary fighter was portrayed accurately in the game.

"For us, this is about creating the most authentic version of Bruce Lee we possibly can, from what he looks like visually to how he actually moves inside the Octagon. The notion of selling out his memory is not something that I would care to evaluate with any great effort. From my own perspective, when I was 12 or 13 I saw my first Bruce Lee film, and then went and rented every Bruce Lee film that there was from the local video story immediately after that. I made a crappy pair of nunchucks with my friends with a piece of string and two pieces of dowel; one of us split our head open trying to do stuff like Bruce Lee. I'm just an enormous fan, and having the ability to simulate his participation in a sport like mixed martial arts is just a really cool thing to be able to do."

"People that say, 'I can't believe that Bruce Lee is in the game.' If it doesn't make you happy, then I honestly don't care," he added.

And what of the trolling potential of video games in 2014? You can imagine someone uploading a video of themselves playing as Bruce Lee in EA Sports UFC and losing horribly just for the sake of mocking the beloved fighter. Shannon Lee isn't losing any sleep over this.

"Look, it's a game. If people are posting YouTube videos of him not performing well...they've got a lot of time on their hands [laughs]."

EA Sports UFC launches June 17 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

474 comments
spikepigeo
spikepigeo

You're completely missing the point, Shannon. We're not upset because we only think of him as "an actor". We're upset because we respect the hell outta your father and presume (key word, presume. Maybe you know your father better than us) to know that he would never subject himself to the sh!t show that is UFC.


He was a martial artist. He was a spiritual master. He was a philosopher and a teacher.


UFC is full of a bunch of thugs.



jtrix
jtrix

all for this great hero being portrayed in a game!

Ishiban
Ishiban

"With our recreation of him in the game, he is the lightning-fast, lethal striker that you expect from what he was in reality. But perhaps only a capable grappler on the ground, as opposed to just being the guy that's rated 100 in everything." - EA Sports UFC, creative director Brian Hayes


In light of the fact that Bruce isn't going to be this invincible, over powered fighter, what the hell is the problem that people have with including him in the game?  I'm no fan of EA, but it would appear they put a lot of thought and work into creating his likeness, even going so far as asking his daughter for her permission and input.  I cannot percieve any reason to be upset besides his inclusion being a preorder bonus.    



Darksimm
Darksimm

Once in a lifetime great people come along, Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali,and Bruce Lee.

Now tell me who the f*ck wouldn't want to play as Bruce Lee?!!! You've played as the rest of that group without complaining. Sign me up hell ya!

Carton_of_milk
Carton_of_milk

Im more concerned as to whether this will be realistic . And by that I mean, if Bruce Lee doesn't take out all his opponents with just one punch, f this game...

Crawler3333
Crawler3333

Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat. DOA. Pretty much every single fighting game has its Bruce Lee wannabe, but when they give you the chance to play as the real deal there are peeps complaining about it.

j_kizi
j_kizi

Hey I'm down for it. 

jZangetsu21
jZangetsu21

Bruce Lee didn't compete because he would have wiped the floor with anyone so it wouldn't be much of a competition ^^

BigCat2K20
BigCat2K20

Shoot, I'm cool with it. I don't know why some gamers are upset over this. His daughter (Shannon) said it best: video games are fantasy. Plus, who doesn't want to play as Bruce Lee?

rskueem
rskueem

Much respect for Bruce Lee ^^ Haters always gonna hate!

magx
magx

No mention of the money paid to the estate (aka her), of course.....

drybones41
drybones41

It's just a game plus I get to play as Bruce Lee.

limbo12
limbo12

Disgusting. Banking on your grandfather's legacy while dragging his good name into the circus of backwardness that is UFC. What a disgrace.

blackace
blackace

I'm fine with it. It's a game, like Shannon says. Bruce did fight in a few kickboxing tournaments from what I've read. The man is a legend and deserves to be honored in a appropriate fighting game. I'm sure Bruce would be intrigued to see himself in this form if he was still alive. I'll definitely check this game out, just to fight as the great one.

sinclairhxc
sinclairhxc

i think its sick as hell that he's in it.  if you don't like, don't play as him.  real fuckin difficult.


anyway, i'm sure she's being sincere for the most part, but let me rephrase what she said, realistically:


"I was super-excited. But as with everything, you always have to take a beat and really check your bank account and see how you feel about being offered money for using your father's likeness," Shannon Lee recalled. "And honestly, when I saw the check, I was really excited about it. I know that there are purists out there who will say 'oh, Bruce Lee didn't compete in real life!" This is a video game and it's meant to be fun."

not being hateful by any means, so don't get upset.  i would do the same thing, especially since you should have to pay to use Bruce Lee's likeness, he's a frackin legend.   

its cool her opinion on the matter has been conveyed, but i really don't see why people would be upset over his inclusion.  it kinda like Kratos being in the new Mortal Kombat... i kinda just ignore it.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"because video games are fantasy" Damn, she really hit the nail on that one! Games are games, taking them too seriously, going all obsessive about realism only makes you look silly.

justinka777
justinka777

if they had done him realistically he would have been way OP.

pnova
pnova

The truth is, Bruce lee didn't compete in real life lol

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

OK im seeing a lot of comments in here stating UFC fighters are not real martial artists.


Lyoto Machida is very much a REAL martial artist in every single sense of the word. That guy grew up in the forests of brazil and had a Japanese father that trained him since the age of 5, hes been non stop training in martial arts since he was 5. im talking blind folds, drinking your own urine, meditation, the full martial arts works. Hes every bit the REAL martial artist. Probably more so than Bruce Lee EVER WAS. these people bathe in Ice water to train. Im not even sure Bruce Lee even did that.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

"Bruce Lee is, in some ways, more of a real fighter than a lot of MMA brawlers today because he "lived and breathed" martial arts."


so........the UFC fighters dont live and breathe fighting just as much as Bruce Lee did? 


hmm not sure about that, i think the UFC fighters live and breathe REAL FIGHTING everyday.


But in saying that, woul dof loved to see Machida fight Bruce Lee in their primes. be awesome. I think Machida would completely decimate him, but still be awesome and cain velasquez would just throw him round like a ragdoll.


I love Bruce Lee but even Chuck Norris was hesitant in starring in a movie with him, because he felt insulted that he wasnt the star of the movie, because he was a real combat fighting world champion and Bruce wasnt. Thats what Chuck said in an interview.

Person4
Person4

It's not that he's in a competitive video game that makes it terrible, it's that it's from EA.

Stooping down to letting the worst company in America take your dad's name and legacy for their own profit is what's wrong.

el_swanno
el_swanno

Since Bruce Lee has been added to the game how about some other greats like Karl Gotch?

xbr85
xbr85

Bruce Lee, the only creature Chuck Norris is afraid of...

jakerscythe
jakerscythe

The inclusion of Bruce Lee is almost enough for me to preorder this game full of other people I've never even heard about.

DuaIFace
DuaIFace

Soooo lets see---we have:

Fei Long (Street Fighter)
Jann Lee (Dead Or Alive)
Dragon (World Heroes)
Jacky Bryant (Virtua Fighter)
Forrest/Marshall Law (Tekken)

...and when the actual authentic likeness of Lee shows up in a game, people offer up some bitch ass morality
about it being anti-Bruce Lee? Shutup. Just shut the hell up please.


123whatever
123whatever

@magx  yeah im sure seeing a virtual version of your deceased and loved father come to life again is not a major factor... especially someone so inspiring as bruce lee.

tyronebigumz
tyronebigumz

I dont this as anything bad She just wants to carry on his legacy and it should and he is like a god of mixed martial arts. I think this was a great plan to have him on the game. I know many people will want to know how bruce do in the octagon. If anyone chooses him and lose its all them because they probably suck. I know this game will be great with the graphics and everything else. Can't wait any longer!

khamla1
khamla1

@limbo12  Who gives a shit, fans want him in it. It's a video game. All dead celebs are still making profits, they be happy that they are still providing for their families. Everyone wins. It would only be a disgrace if the family DIDNT want him in. So shut the hell up!

sinclairhxc
sinclairhxc

@justinka777 as in inevitably kill everyone, literally lol.  didn't some fighting organization have to get rid of someone because they were too good/dangerous?

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Yes he did, but most matches were private. One of the legendary ones was defeating one of China's best fighter in order to win the right to teach Kung fu to non-Asians.

brian_da_carrot
brian_da_carrot

Machida IS the real deal, you're certainly correct about that. I think what she meant was that for Bruce Lee martial arts was a philosophical way of life, which is more than what fighting is to most UFC competitors. I'll admit it does sound pretentious, but remember the context is that people are questioning the legitimacy of Lee's inclusion in the game.

I don't advise following Lee's path; what men can attain is nothing to what God can do. However, I think including Lee in the game is justifiable. We're not talking Jackie Chan here.

Nice to see another Machida fan out there.

MarioFanaticXV
MarioFanaticXV

@Person4 Even if we're limiting it just to video game companies, no one is worse than Valve, and Capcom is just as bad as EA.

WolfgarTheQuiet
WolfgarTheQuiet

@Person4  Aww fuck off mate, you people are getting boring with that shit. Microsoft is the worst company in the US and beyond. Soooo many amazing games made/published by EA, haters suck hairy nuts.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@xbr85 if you watch Chuck Norris's interviews , you will find he wasnt afraid at all of Bruce Lee and felt he wasnt as good a fighter as him, by a long way. mainly because Chuck Norris was a real world champion and bruce Lee wasnt.


chuck Norris ieven said in his interview about starring with Bruce lee, that"Bruce Lee was good, but im a real world champion not just a movie star and would easily beat him"


He even thought about turning the movie down, because he didnt want his reputation as a world champion to be tarnished.

tyronebigumz
tyronebigumz

I feel you. It doesn't matter what company makes the game its the quality that I want to see. I can care less if they're greedy. Its life everyone's greedy in there own way.

joey2010
joey2010

@DuaIFace  We bitch because it's an EA game. They brought this on themselves.

Biocide69
Biocide69

@brian_da_carrot and nyran125tk I believe they both are martial artist. In different ways, Machida in his dedication to his style and the traditions that go along with it, and Lee to fighting as a whole, and creating his own views and philosophy with it.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@WolfgarTheQuiet @Person4  actually Chevron, bank Of America, Federal reserve. What about those horrible BLM federal agency in Nevada right now trying to kick everyone off their land by kicking pregnant women in the head. They seem to be a little worse than EA lol


what about Bill gates foundation that funds MONSANTO and GMO foods and vaccines that make some kids retarded and sick. They seem to be pretty sht . 


I dont know, Fracking? seems to be pretty sht to. I think EA is the least of our worries corporate wise.

tyronebigumz
tyronebigumz

The only reason why Chuck norris thinks he's so notorious is because of them stupid ass chuck norris jokes. Put him in the game and I bet a 5year old can kick his ass with bruce lee. What a fake! I bet he wouldn't say shit to bruce lee to his face. Get knocked the f***** out.

xbr85
xbr85

@nyran125tk I've watched his interview and know his opinion of Bruce, what I did above is commonly known as joking. You should try it out sometime, it's getting increasingly popular with the youngsters I hear...

Have a good one.

blackothh
blackothh

@nyran125tk I agree that there are a ton of horrible things going on in the world that make EA look like kings, but since they are way off topic in the video game hobby, I could not care less.



Carton_of_milk
Carton_of_milk

@nyran125tk

Clearly you've never read Lee's martial arts books. I think Lee knew a lot more about fighting techniques than some UFC fighters do...

And comparing to Jackie Chan is wrong. Chan did not train people in martial arts, didn't write books about it, etc.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@tyronebigumz  He wanted to fight Bruce Lee for real, to proove that he was a combat fighter and Bruce Lee was a movie star. he wanted to do that.


Just like van Damme asked Steven Seagal to fight him for real. because he thought Seagal was full of sht.


Chuck Norris Was a REAL WORLD CHAMPION. Bruce Lee wasnt. Also most of Lee's desciples lost tournaments to. I love Bruce Lee movies. I love his martial arts. But we are talking about (ok heres an example,) A UFC champion vs Jackie chan. Could Jackie Chan defeat Jon Jones? i dont think so. Could he beat Machida? i dont think so. Chuck Norris was Machida level when he did the movie with Bruce Lee. 


Ok Cung Le vs Chuck Norris. Well they are at least real combat fighters.


Norris was no joke. He was a real world champion. Bruce Lee wanteed to beat up the world champion in a movie. Chuck wanted to beat him up in real life lol.