UFC King Jon Jones Set to Star in Throwback Fighting Game Vice and Virtue® by Raini Studios

UFC King Jon Jones Set to Star in Throwback Fighting Game Vice and Virtue by Raini Studios

Jon Jones is accustomed to dominating rivals in the octagon, but the heavyweight known as “Bones” has channeled his skills into a new project: a brawler video game by Raini Studios. 

The upcoming Vice and Virtue®, an old-school, Streets of Rage-esque side-scroller, sees Jones’ MMA moves replicated in the gaming domain. It marks the first time a reigning UFC champion has truly “starred” in a web3 game, with the champ’s strikes and kicks immortalized through the use of modern motion capture technology.

“Jon’s next-level athleticism, unique fighting skills and big personality, combined with the latest gaming technologies, will make for an unbelievably immersive beat ‘em up experience,” says Mike Haller, Raini Studios’ head of gaming.

Resurrecting a Beloved Genre

As well as leading creative on the project, Mike Haller is the Co-founder of CEDEN Network, which powers its gaming infrastructure and is the parent company of Raini. Haller is no stranger to fight-focused games: he worked on a slew of classic wrestling releases for THQ in the late 90s and early 00s, including WCW vs NWO: World Tour, WWF Wrestlemania 2000, and WWF Smackdown!.

Haller’s credits also include Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Def Jam Vendetta, and the English versions of animé films like Akira and Ghost in the Shell; he even ran Dreamworks Interactive for Electronic Arts for a time. There are few individuals better placed to resurrect the beloved beat ‘em up genre.

Sponsored

Although full details of Vice and Virtue® have not yet become available, players have been told to expect a slugfest-filled game that replicates the addictive buzz of Final Fight, Double Dragon, and the aforementioned Streets of Rage, coupled with the immersive joys granted by modern gaming tech – including Unreal 5.4. 

Given Jones’ involvement, the combat sequences are likely to be fierce: the versatile Bones has racked up 27 wins from 29 contests, including ten big KOs and seven submissions. Don’t expect to go far by button-bashing: the path to victory will require cunning strategy.

Having previously achieved success with its digital trading card game Raini: The Lords of Light, Raini Studios is on a mission to shape the gaming landscape of the future, with the goal of bringing passionate players on-chain.

A New Focus for Raini Studios?

Although Vice and Virtue® will see the company break new ground, it is not actually the first combat game it has developed: that distinction goes to Mexican wrestling release Lucha Throwdown, which was unveiled at March’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and is slated for release later this year. 

Haller headed up development on the Lucha-IP licensed game, which focuses on lucha libre wrestlers known for their off-the-top-rope maneuvers and colorful masks. With Lucha Throwdown and Vice and Virtue®, Haller is certainly leaving his imprint on Raini Studios and charting a bold new direction for the company. “Go big or go home” seems to be the mantra.

Vice and Virtue® is anticipated for an early 2025 release.