THQ Sells Off UFC License to EA
THQ San Diego closes its doors as part of the transaction.
During the EA press conference, the massive publisher/developer casually dropped a bomb: EA had reached a multi-year deal with the UFC to develop games based on the wildly popular MMA franchise. That’s a lot of acronyms flying around, but in all the glitz and glamor of the EA press conference it was easy for even the most astute follower of the video game industry to not ask a very important question: What happened to THQ and the Undisputed franchise?
It turns out that THQ sold off the license to longtime rival EA as part of the massive restructuring the embattled publisher is orchestrating. The money woes of THQ have been widely publicized as of late, and the company has decided to shift their focus to some of their core franchises, cutting out all but their major titles. Even though the UFC Undisputed games had done very well for the company, it apparently wasn’t well enough to keep their San Diego studio open. In a prepared statement the company admitted that, in addition to selling off the UFC license, THQ San Diego was also shuttered. This studio was also responsible for last year’s arcade-style wrestling game, WWE All-Stars.
"We have relished our relationship with UFC over the last several years and believe that the UFC gaming brand is in great shape. THQ's more focused strategy moving forward meant that transferring the license to EA made sense to all parties," said THQ CEO Brian Farrell.
It should be noted that UFC president Dana White stated publicly at one point that he was “at war” with EA. Reportedly White had gone to EA with an idea for a UFC game and was turned down, but after the surprise success of UFC Undisputed, EA Sports quickly got their own MMA game off the ground. All that seems to be in the past, however, as Dana White’s comment at the press conference about the partnership between EA and UFC was simply “Finally!”