Def Jam throws down on next-gens

The rappin' and fightin' series will continue on the new consoles, may cross to other genres as EA confirms Def Jam 3 is on the way.

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Electronic Arts, the world's biggest game publisher, and Def Jam Enterprises, arguably the world's most influential entertainment conglomerate (helmed by Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons) are teaming up again for another beat down on gamers.

The two companies have signed a multiyear agreement "that will deliver next-generation video games across multiple genres." The two groups are effectively extending the contract that previously brought Def Jam Vendetta and Def Jam: Fight for New York to gamers.

Today's news confirms what Def Jam Enterprises president and CEO Kevin Liles told GameSpot News back in May: that Def Jam 3 was a lock and was even then in the works for next-gen platforms.

Though EA did not mention what specific genre the upcoming game might conform to, the publisher did reveal that the series is at least sticking to its roots...for now.

EA said that Def Jam 3 (working title) is currently in development at EA Chicago, the same studio that produces the Fight Night series. And while no mention of platforms or game details accompanied the statement, the companies volunteered that DJ3 would be a "street fighting game."

Def Jam and EA previously hooked up for 2003's Def Jam Vendetta (GameCube, PlayStation 2) and 2004's Def Jam: Fight for New York (GameCube, PS2, Xbox). The games let hip-hop artists who usually limit their battles to the mic (well, most anyway) duke it out in underground settings in full-on street combat.

With classic and new hip-hop artists such as Slick Rick, Method Man, Lil' Kim, and Erick Sermon, as well as a fighting mechanic that blended traditional fighting and wrestling tactics, the Def Jam series was and is generally held in high regard by critics.

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